Materials manufacturer Dow Chemical this week said it plans to launch multiple social networks in December to help former employees, retirees and current workers communicate about full-time and contract job openings at the company.

"This is an acknowledgment that the labour market is tightening," said Kevin Small, leader of Dow's Global Resource Management Centre. "We really need to come up with ways of addressing different generations in the workforce."

Small said that the so-called Dow Connect social networks will let "the overall Dow family – current and former employees – stay connected [and] stay current on what Dow is doing in case they choose to return."

Each Dow Connect social network will be tailored to specific audiences, such as former employees interested in returning to the company, women looking to better balance work and family issues, and retired Dow employees seeking to work on short-term projects, Small said.

The networks will also let users "find out other pieces of information that would be difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain from an online jobs board," Small added.

The Dow social networks will be built and hosted by New York-based SelectMinds.