But the real world workplace is far from similar to the that of the NBA.
But there is a reason employers want to keep connections with alumni - and often host alumni events or dedicate web site information to alumni of the company - employers welcome the chance to hire people they already know are top performers.
In fact, employers will recruit alumni back, particularly for hard-to-find skills and backgrounds. In this market, with specialized unemployment rates at less than three or four percent for many roles, there's definitely a struggle to find talent.
Below, James Kwapick, Minneapolis-based District President for Robert Half International (RHI.com), the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and a recognized leader in professional staffing and consulting services, provide advice for both the employer and job seeker when considering reconnecting and working together.
Advice for the employer:
1. Be clear on expectations: They key is for both the hiring manager and the employee to be cognizant of any issues or the situation that may have caused the employee to have left the organization. Why did the employee leave the company in the first place, and what can the two of you do to ensure longevity in this new role? It's important to be sure he/she feels confident that the problems which forced him to leave have been resolved.
2. Keep an open mind: Employers should be aware that hiring a boomerang employee means added knowledge and skills the returning alumni may have gained in their time away from the company. Encourage your employee to offer or provide ideas and insights to existing projects.
3. Embrace the lack of a learning curve: There is little risk for employers as they already know the employee is capable of doing a great job. They have the benefit of a small learning curve on the organization's culture, expectations and work, as this is all very familiar.
4. Think about succession planning: Succession planning should be implemented throughout the organization, not just at the top. The process helps to identify future executive talent, even if there is no immediate vacancy. It also helps companies prepare for unforeseen events, develop a pipeline of strong leaders, and build a more capable and motivated staff. This employee may be a candidate for such a position if they show loyalty and strong company knowledge.
5. Be an advocate: Make sure to help your new employee feel comfortable and settled in the new role. Just because he/she has been with the company before, doesn't make a new job any less scary. There are still new faces and changes within the company they will need to get familiar with, so be sure to help your employee get acquainted just as you would any other new hire.
Advice for job seekers coming back to a former employer:
1. Keep an open mind: Coming back to an old employer can be both familiar and new territory, so go back with an open mind. For the employee, be adaptable to updated management, a shift in company culture, and/or changes in every day best practices employed by the company.
2. Embrace change: While it can be great to see old faces, be aware that changes have probably been implemented since your time away, so become acquainted with any new company policies, strategies and goals.
3. Implement new ideas learned while away: Take what you learned from your previous job, and try to use new ideas and information to help both you in your new position, and your new firm. You have the advantage of a fresh set of eyes, as well as the history with the company, so use these tools to your advantage.
4. Leverage your network: Use your business network and connections to grow the firm and achieve business goals in your workplace.
5. Be a team player: Be flexible, take care to socialize and bond with your new colleagues and alleviate fears of the "new old guy" taking over responsibilities, offer to roll up your sleeves and participate.