Bringing In Your Corporate Retirees For Organizational Guidance During COVID-19 Crisis

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni, Crisis Management, In The News   |    Last Edited: 31st March 2020

It’s unprecedented times for the world as we navigate the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. Given the current complex business landscape, some organizations have called upon their corporate retirees temporarily to provide guidance through it. Here’s why this could prove to be a lifeline during this time.

Why Retiree Alumni Are Valuable Resources To Draw From During The COVID-19 Crisis

Recruitment Is More Urgent and More Complex

Aside from essential service providers, the general global business landscape has switched from sales and outreach to support mode. Furthermore, teams are having to adjust to fulltime remote working as countries go into lockdown. As organizations’ priorities are evolving to adapt to the times we are working through, the need for very specific skills and roles are arising. Consequently, talent acquisition teams have to take a more focused approach to recruitment.

One of the critical challenges facing recruiters now is finding candidates remotely. In addition to not being able to meet in person, references can become harder to contact as they are out of reach or dealing with organizational shuffling themselves. 

Besides that, the unanticipated, perhaps critical situation that organizations are experiencing due to COVID-19 calls for immediate action and solutions. It’s not enough to begin the hiring process and enroll the successful candidate within the 36-day average time-to-fill. Not to mention the subsequent time to productivity. By that stage, the ship has sailed with the damage done. When compounded with the already precarious business environment, this can be crippling. 

Consult With Corporate Retirees

This is where the value of alumni, particularly retirees from senior managerial positions, can be appreciated. With very low time-time-to-fill and prior working knowledge of the organization at the highest level, their input and skills are invaluable and immediately available. As they have already attained peak career development by working for the organization and others over the years, retirees are highly qualified to bring an expanse of relevant experience and guidance to the table. 

What this really means, is that recruiters should be turning to their corporate alumni teams right now. Your alumni network program holds the contact information of verified retirees who have the skills and qualifications to help your organization in its hour of need.

Retirees Likely Have Experience With Crisis Management

Contingency plans are being pulled out of the bottom drawer as companies begin adapting or developing new policies to handle the crisis and lift the organization out of an uncertain situation. However, even with a prepped crisis management team in place, they may only have theoretical knowledge of how to handle emergencies.

Choosing external experts as leaders of the response is equally risky. With no connection to current employees or the existing C-suite, as well as limited operational knowledge of the organization, these hires tend to fall short in motivating and structuring order in volatile situations.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is laying a very unique set of challenges on the table, bringing in a retired former employee to consult through this can add the intellectual capital required for your business to emerge stronger. In fact, expert retirees can mentor younger leaders through this while tackling the crisis head-on.

Due to the critical nature of COVID-19 and the potential impact that improvident behavior can have on the livelihood of an organization, it is not the time to be testing out strategies. A seasoned retiree with experience managing business disasters or emergencies will know how to adopt measures and practices to handle the challenges you are being faced with.

As Shareholders, They Have A Vested Interest In The Organization’s Success

Leverage Retiree Alumni During Coronavirus Pandemic

It’s common for companies to incentivize employees with shares of its stock. Furthermore, when employees leave to become alumni or retirees, they often hold a retirement plan or an investment portfolio with the organization. Provided that the relationship continues after the exit interview, they may retain these over the long term, and possibly even invest more over time.

As a retiree, wealth maintenance is of significant importance. As a shareholder, they have a vested stake in the success of the organization. Combine the two and the matter of protecting investments through turbulent times translates into a great motivator for providing problem-solving intelligence.

Alumni Hold An Affinity To Your Firm

The formative years of a corporate career are when a person forges connections, tests their abilities, and begins building wealth. Thus, much like college alumni who look back on their educational years with fondness, corporate alumni can share similar sentiments once retired. This is especially relevant when they have maintained peer connections within the larger organizational network, which we will discuss in greater detail shortly.

Based on the context of organizational affinity, retirees can be willing contributors to corporate guidance. Taking it beyond the common college alumni support measure of monetary donations, the submission of intelligence by retirees is far more valuable when navigating unchartered waters in a crisis.

How To Maintain Strong Connections With Your Corporate Retirees

There are many phases of a career between intern and retiree. An old school of thought might have assumed that these all take place within one organization ending with a gold watch and pension fund to takeaway. It might also have resisted the idea of rehiring former employees.

However, the new school, not only knows that this isn’t the reality but also embraces the employee exit as an opportunity for career development which may result in a rehire. It’s an efficient way of operating supported by an alumni program that can drive ROI for an organization. 

Corporate Alumni Retiree Program

Besides the financial benefits, there’s the invaluable human advantage as well. At any organizational offboarding point, the former employee is recruited into the alumni program. This acts as a platform for them to engage with colleagues and mentors, as well as provides access to a host of beneficial career development resources while keeping them within reach of the organization. 

Indeed, alumni programs realize the role of alumni and retirees is much more than that of former employees. They are potential customers, possible boomerangs, and a qualified source of resources to draw from.

In Conclusion

As organizations work through the coronavirus pandemic, they will do well to call upon their expert retirees for advice. Qualified connections are a viable source of intel to see your organization through the storm. 

At a time when everyone must come together, we are here to help you in any way. Amazingly, we also have a supportive community of Alumni Leaders who are ready and willing to jump in and help others should they need it.