How An Alumni Program Enables Organizations To Rapidly Tap Into Qualified & Pre-Screened Talent

Kathi Enderes of Josh Bersin Academy talks about how organizations can leverage their Alumni Community to rapidly access pre-qualified talent.

In conversation with EnterpriseAlumni, Kathi unpacked the notion that an alumni program should be a critical element of internal mobility, succession and talent acquisition given that the ex-employees who form part of it are pre-qualified, pre-vetted and readily accessible.

5 Key Takeaways To Work Through

1. An Organization's Ability To Rapidly Hire People Is The Practice That Has The Biggest Financial Impact

Organizations that can hire rapidly will consistently outperform their competitors. According to a recent pandemic response study by the Josh Bersin Academy, which included insights from 1,400+ organizations, businesses that operate in this way are: 

  • 4.4 times more likely to meet or exceed financial targets
  • 5.3 times more likely to satisfy and retain customers
  • 6.5 times more likely to adapt to change effectively 

We also know that 50% of executive recruits fail. As businesses need to staff up rapidly, the power of an alumni program is unmatched as it opens a talent pool of qualified and pre-screened candidates who are readily accessible to the business in question.

2. Returning Employees Are An Effective, Affordable Source Of Hire

Boomerang hires stay longer, are known candidates with good cultural fit, become productive more quickly, and can fill positions in half the time. As organizations on average only hire 2% of the resumes received via a public job posting, the time, effort, and cost of interviewing and processing strangers to your organization is now rapidly being replaced by hiring former employees.

As your alumni continue their career, learn new skills, and expand their network, maintaining a relationship enables organizations to tap into this vast talent pool. The upside of this is accelerated recruiting, access to a trusted candidate referral pool, driving D&I initiatives, and showing that your company intends to have a relationship for life.

3. The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Put Alumni Communities In The Spotlight

In 2020, alumni communities went mainstream. Many companies set up a program because they wanted to stay connected with amazing people who they had to let go due to COVID-19. It was the year that made companies exponentially more human.

There is nothing more human than supporting your people throughout their career wherever it may take them. As such, alumni relations have moved beyond a mailing list and directory, to being a platform that delivers value to its members through networking, learning, volunteering, mentoring and job opportunities, and so much more.

4. Employee Experience Doesn’t End At The Exit Interview

Employee experience is tied to satisfaction and engagement, but it really extends to everything that impacts an employee as a person – not just when they are at work. This is why it is so important for employers to think holistically about the people they employ – the whole person, including their family life, financial wealth, health, and wellbeing.

It extends to the work they do, the conditions in which they do it, the management around them, how much they trust the organization, and the work environment. Naturally, it also carries into the way they are treated when they move on to explore new opportunities elsewhere.

5. People Don’t Retire When They Retire Any More

Companies that aren’t spending energy or resources on their offboarding process are likely stuck in a legacy thought loop of yesteryear where people stayed at one job for most of their lives and weren’t available to work once they chose to retire.

However, this is no longer the case.

People are doing consulting work and going on to become even more specialized and skilled. This is why it is vital to view them as assets and keep the relationship alive.

Highlights and Notable Quotes From The Session

The moments that matter are actually not the moments that matter. When Kathi was with Deloitte they did a study on workforce experience, which led them to understand that the ‘big moments’ in a person’s career aren’t the most important ones in the grand scheme of things.

We tend to think that times when employees get a promotion, get a raise, get a new manager, or change a job are the most significant.

However, these moments only occur now and then. In between are the countless other daily moments that make up their experience of your company – how people interact with them, whether they feel supported, valued, and respected. 

Don’t underestimate the importance of the bookend experiences. ‘Bookends’ refers to the candidate experience and alumni experience that comes before and after a person’s time of employment at a given company. These are actually more impactful in many ways than those golden HR moments of performance management and promotion.

Companies spend a lot of time on the first bookend – onboarding – but often neglect the other one. Businesses should place as much effort into leaving as they do joining.

When employees leave your company, they are promoted from employee to customer. This quote by the CEO of Starbucks reveals great insight into the importance of the last touchpoint of the employee journey. When people leave your company, they go on to work, live, and engage with countless other people and are likely to share their experience with these people. They can either become happy ambassadors for your business, or their valid personal experience can cast a pallor on your employer brand in the long run.

If you can relate to the challenges associated with rapidly tapping into trusted sources of qualified, pre-screened talent, listen in to the webinar recording. Learn how an alumni program can positively impact and accelerate an organization’s recruitment strategy and employee experience.

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