Should Your Company Keep in Contact With Former Employees?

Should you let the relationship with a former employee fade, or do you maintain it? The rise in social media makes it much easier to keep in contact with former employees if your company wants to. But is it a good idea? 

Frankly, the answer to the question may hinge on the company’s perception of the employee. Here’s a brief overview.  


Yes, if the Employee Was Viewed Positively

In one category are the employees the company viewed positively! By this, we mean: their job performance was excellent, they received favorable yearly reviews, and they got along with colleagues. When they left, they gave notice appropriately and were missed. 

Keeping in touch with them might be mutually beneficial for both employee and company. For the company, the employee can be a source of referrals for employees likely to do well, assuming they know like-minded people who would also be positive employees!  

In addition, if you keep in touch, you might find it very comfortable to offer the departed employee a new position in your company at some point. 


No, if the Relationship Was Problematic

But what if the employee was viewed as problematic in some way at the company? The reasons for this can be multiple: poor performance, the need for supervisors to take corrective action, lack of fit, poor relationships with colleagues, ghosting the job in some way (not showing up one day as their method of giving notice!).  

In that case, it’s likely more prudent not to keep in contact. There’s nothing productive to be gained by keeping in touch. 

In addition, if the employee feels ill-treated in some way, keeping lines of communication open may lead them to express these feelings more. Both you and the employee need to move on to find a more positive ground.  


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