Hey Applebee’s: Why Don’t You Treat Ex-Workers Like Yahoo Does?

Dear Applebee’s,

I used to work for you in Human Resources. It was a great 3 1/2 years.

I loved working for you. I was surrounded by the most talented group of Human Resource, Operations and Training professionals I’ve ever been around.

I tell this story often, but you know when you go into a large business meeting with like 20-40 people all sitting in a large square or circle of tables? And you look around and you instantly see a couple of slugs, people who shouldn’t even be working for the company, let alone be in this meeting?

The first time I traveled to Applebee’s headquarters for a large operations meetings and I walked into the entire group of HR professionals that the Applebee’s leadership team had assembled, I looked around the room and couldn’t find one of those people!

“Why don’t you send me something?”

Then it hit me – I’m that person! I’m the slug! It was the coolest feeling to be challenged like that, to be surrounded by talented, caring people all working to make a company great.

I’ve moved on to bigger roles and a bunch of new experiences, but I still share so many things I learned while I was with you to those HR Pros I’m connected to. I still talk so highly of the Applebee’s brand and the people that make your brand what it is today.

You’ve got some really great people still working for you, even after that crappy pancake place bought you. You’ve lost some great ones as well – I could point out a number and where they are currently working and what their numbers are – and who knows, they might want to come back. Maybe even I want to come back.

Tell you what — why don’t you send me something? Just send a little something to remind me of what I’m missing – a gift card, a free appetizer coupon, a “Carside to Go” Frisbee.  You could even have someone drop off lunch to my office, maybe a grilled chicken oriental roll-up .

You see, I might want to come back, but no one has ever asked. No letters, no phone calls, no tweets or Facebook messages. I know I left you and that probably didn’t feel very good, but I think we can all be adults about this.

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I had some growing up to do. I needed to see if those fries on the other side of the street really were hotter. You can’t blame a guy for that.

So, who knows, we were so close once – and there’s nothing to say we can’t be close again

Tim

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Note to readers: Just in case you are very lost at this point – check this out from Yahoo. Also, Marissa Mayer if you want to send me stuff, I’ll even think about coming over to Yahoo! Who knows – I like gifts!

In case you’re still lost: some of the best recruits you’ll ever get are people who’ve already worked for you and were good, but you’ve never asked them to come back.

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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