Managing an alumni network

Phone Your Talent Acquisition Teams Now, They Need Your Alumni Army

For Alumni Leaders, now is the time to engage your Alumni Community, get them involved, & showcase how they can assist the rest of your organization.

This article started as an e-mail we sent to our Alumni Leaders Community and our customers. We wanted to broaden the conversation by posting this further and wider, knowing that a company’s workforce can be the difference between survival and collapse in times of crisis.

To all the alumni leaders, let us know if we can help in any way.

You have access to skilled, qualified and verified people who are ready and able to return to your organization – and require minimal time to become productive. Corporate Alumni Teams own the talent pipeline that your organization urgently needs, right now. 

Right now, recruiting teams around the globe are busy, looking to fill very specific, perhaps niche roles. Amid swift reorganization, work from home mayhem, the need to find and activate shift workers, and perhaps even downsizing, are on the cards. HR teams are having to contend with escalated challenges without the ability to meet in person, a reduced ability to contact references and certainly no opportunity to test the cultural fit of a hire by, for example, having candidates meet a selection of people across the company.

We understand the priority is to focus on the ‘must-have’, urgent fill, temporary fill and hard to fill roles you need to recruit right now. As Alumni Leaders, you not only have access to this pipeline of potential candidates and referrals but you have their contact information and an existing relationship!

Despite the value, this is clearly not the week to invite recruiters to log in to your Alumni platform, learn the features or join a webinar on why engaging Alumni is the recruiters secret weapon; however this is the time for Alumni Leaders to see how you might be able to help your organization and your alumni during this challenging time. 

Now is the time to reach out proactively to your local, regional, national or global talent acquisition leads up and down the organization and offer your services and access to your company’s Alumni Community. This may include finding out who they are via LinkedIn or seeing if there is an internal DL for the recruiting teams

An example of what you might want to send:

Dear Colleague. You may know that we at X Company have a community and relationship with XX,000 former employees through our alumni network. If you have an urgent role you need to fill or you and your department have a wider need to rethink your workforce and seek out additional talent, please send us any urgent requisitions and our Alumni Team can either create a shortlist of candidates for your review or share this request with the members of our network, calling for applicants or referrals.

We look forward to supporting you through this period and creating a meaningful interaction between you and the alumni community, for mutual support and opportunity. 

Here’s an example of what one Fortune 100 company is doing right now, with its network of 65,000 Alumni. But note you don’t need to be an F100 or have 65,000 Alumni for this idea to be beneficial. You just need one person who can fill one job:

  1. Created a recruiter shared mailbox to directly handle applications and conversations with former employees or their referrals, staffed 24/7 by global teams working together to provide accelerated re-entry.
  2. The Alumni team is doing a daily report against all the prioritized requisitions and identifying a shortlist of good candidates or good candidates for referrals.
  3. A quick, daily call between Recruiters & Alumni Team to review the candidates and define the next steps, if any, for any matches – and shortlist the top 5 positions they need to fill in each region.
  4. A daily email to all Alumni with 3-5 open positions in their region, asking for their assistance with candidates via a simple form which routes to the shared mailbox.

Right now, our teams are working with customers across the globe, helping them to create accelerated talent pipelines, automations and messaging campaigns to drive or access more candidates, more referral channels and every other possible hack we never even contemplated to use our system to provide a recruiter access to a candidate quicker.

And of course your alumni can also be great evangelists, mentors, partners and friends. This mutually symbiotic community is there for the company and alumni to share opportunities right now.

So whilst you may have been thinking: “Well, I guess the Alumni program is on pause right now as this is no time to send out a fun quarterly newsletter”, we would tell you this is the very time to engage. As would your fellow alumni leaders. This is a chance to rise up, get involved and showcase the power of your alumni army to assist the rest of your organization.

two more examples customers have shared as to how they are engaging their Alumni community to help solve challenges, communicate with their community and drive their business forward:

Information sharing or ‘State Of The Business Union’ Webinars: Direct to Alumni who may work for customers, partners or be active in their ecosystem providing direct access to information, support and processes.

From one of our customers campaigns: If you are working at one of our customers, partners or suppliers and would like more information on how we are handling COVID-19 and what it means for our business, our ability to deliver and likely impact please join XXXX

How can we help? emails.

Uplifting and practical at the same time, one of our customers is asking their Alumni if they need any help and one by one, trying to respond and provide solutions. They are sending out a daily email, both sharing ways alumni can help former colleagues as well as listing the help that others are seeking. Their alumni community can truly come together and help each other and her inbox is bulging with emails from Alumni offering help to others.

If you are doing something to bring your community together, help the organization or the people, let us know. If we can help strategize or mobilize any campaigns, access or reporting at a time when everyone must come together we are here to provide whatever you need and we have an amazing community of Alumni Leaders who are ready and willing to jump in and help others

Finally, we want to take this opportunity to wish all our customers, friends and colleagues well.

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