The former Managing Director in Citibank’s Corporate and Investment Bank shares his experiences building the company’s EMEA alumni program.Read more
How To Transform Alumni Into Powerful Brand Advocates Who Attract Talent to Your Business
If the timing isn’t right to re-hire former employees, are they motivated to act as brand advocates who can attract talent to your business?
Leading organizations across the globe enjoy greater ROI on recruiting programs when focusing on 'Known Person Recruiting'. This hiring methodology involves filling a role with a former employee, qualified referral or candidate who has some form of pre-existing working relationship with the entity.
But is your organization tapping into this collection of resources? First prize is to engage with your alumni community as a qualified source of talent. However, the timing might not be right to re-hire previous employees; in which case, are they motivated to act as brand advocates who attract talent to your business?
Leverage Alumni As Brand Advocates To Attract Talent
Creating an empowering experience throughout the lifecycle from candidate to employee to alumnus transforms people into brand advocates. Inevitably, this influences a business’ ability to engage in meaningful talent acquisition and retention in the future. People moving in the industry circles make new connections as they jump ship; they communicate with college alumni; all of which can lead to a placement referral or radio silence for the organization bearing the regrettable loss.
As a result, these relationships should be treated like gold from the start.
Some methods that organizations can use to leverage alumni as brand advocates are by:
- Creating a company culture that people want to be involved with
- Empowering employees and alumni with continued education and training
- Providing an online community that motivates and inspires
- Being transparent and authentic in leadership
Create A Company Culture and Brand That People Want To Be Involved With
Purpose-driven alumni and employees who believe in what an organization is doing make for great brand advocates. Building a positive brand image is a strategic move that reaps benefits both for attracting talent - as well as business.
Aside from a welcoming physical environment and competitive perks that draw people to the door, there's company culture to consider too. Does your organization consciously operate in a manner that strikes pride in employees, creating positive connections that they'll willingly promote at every stage along their journey?
An organization that takes ownership of its presence and expresses its values creates a company culture that is sure to receive a vote of confidence from employees when they go on to become alumni.
Empower Employees and Alumni With Continued Education and Training
So in terms of leveraging employees as brand advocates, there is an expectation to provide options for developing existing skills and acquiring new ones.
Fortunately, modern learning formats are conducive to promoting development in the workplace without detracting too much from productive work hours. And whether it's e-learning, in-house workshops, or professional certification training, offering opportunities for skills advancement empowers employees.
Lay the foundation for employees to be able to grow professionally, and they will become alumni who value the investment a business has made in them. With room to grow professionally by moving up the managerial ladder or onto a career-making role in another company, employees are more likely to remain loyal, whatever their connection to an organization.
Provide An Online Community That Motivates and Inspires
Attracting, engaging, and activating an alumni network requires a platform that enables these qualities. Laying a home base that provides curated content, exclusive career advancement opportunities, access to industry expertise, or business partnership development is an appealing motivator for alumni to stay in tune with an organization.
Leading platforms like Enterprise Alumni use AI to provide a unique experience to every user, driving relevance for them personally, resulting in increased engagement. As alumni are getting access to highly personalized content, the value add is undeniable. The 98% of F500 companies who have a form of returnship program would agree.
On the backend, a recruiter dashboard provides a suite of tools that enables insights and analysis into a user’s connections to encourage invitations and referrals. In turn, this can encourage your alumni to start a conversation with a qualified contact about your organization, transforming them into brand advocates.
Be Transparent and Authentic In Leadership
As we know from our own experiences, trust is the basis for nurturing something truly genuine. In the corporate environment, this translates into leadership being open about the state of the organization and where it and the employees are headed. This involves communication about business and departmental goals, as well as discussions about how every person within the organization helps to achieve these.
Ultimately, it takes us back to fulfilling that sense of purpose. If employees feel like contributors to the organization with a stake in its success, this goes a long way in providing motivation.
The sense of ownership doesn’t pass on once employees become alumni. Instead, this formulates these transformative years into a valuable career-building process they would recommend to their peers.
Sourcing Talent Smartly
Staying close to home has produced favorable results for recruiters within corporate organizations. Considering your alumni and employees as brand advocates to draw in talent for your business can draw in the right candidates, reducing time to fill and increasing your ROI on recruitment.