Northwell Health looks to untapped resource — alumni — for talent

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health believes once an employee, always a member of the Northwell family. With that in mind, it introduced the Alumni Network June 15, an online group that will enable tens of thousands of former Northwell employees to reconnect and stay in touch.

Beyond former employees, the network is open to Northwell's former students, researchers — everyone who has been a part of the healthcare system's family. To date, more than 20,000 people have been invited to join the online network. Learn more about the Alumni Network and join here.

While Maxine Carrington, senior vice president and chief people officer, told Becker's she can't wait to see the new initiative grow, prosper and rekindle old friendships, she is hoping the Alumni Network will benefit Northwell Health in several ways, including philanthropy and brand ambassadorship. They can also share their knowledge and experience as mentors and take part in networking opportunities.

"Our foundation is truly excited about the opportunity to tap another pool of people who might be willing to donate," Ms. Carrington said. "And I believe our alumni are really an army of folks in the community who will speak positively about our health system and refer people here."

The Alumni Network will also be a pipeline to talent — employees who may want to return to Northwell or refer skilled workers to the health system for open jobs.

Former employees who left in good standing are welcome back, Ms. Carrington said, noting the Alumni Network is a great way to reconnect. "We are hoping the network will help us find talent who are referred by alumni and that it also creates a pathway for people to come back. They may choose to come back in a permanent role or on a short-term assignment, a few days a week or even as a volunteer," she said. 

While Northwell is continuing to advertise job opportunities, she said maintaining a relationship with people who were formerly involved with the system may provide a "warm re-introduction," — a pathway for people who may be looking to return.

"I want our alumni to be thinking that they know us. They have a relationship with us. It's an easier psychological decision to jump ship from wherever they are now and come back, because they have a connection to Northwell," she said. "These ongoing relationships will help people who are considering their next employment decision."

Since late 2022, Ms. Carrington said she and her team have been actively reaching out to former employees to entice them to come back to work or share their time and talents with Northwell in some fashion. She believes the Alumni Network will centralize those efforts. 

"Our alumni have made important contributions not only to Northwell, but to the health and well-being of thousands of people, and they should be proud of that," Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell, said. "They will always be part of Northwell's story, and we want to help support our alumni's continued growth and success."

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