Is Your Business Capitalizing On Its Corporate Alumni Talent Pool?

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 16th December 2020

Your corporate alumni talent pool is a goldmine. By now, most HR professionals realize that an alumni program can promote and protect an employer brand and even serve as a critical step on the road to business recovery. However, the benefits of keeping in touch with ex-employees can also be a lot simpler (and lucrative) than that.

The simple fact of the matter is that the average person will make between three and seven career changes in their lives, so even if your company has the best benefits, culture, and coffee in the world, people are bound to move on. But just because they are heading out the door does not mean you need to lose touch. Keep them in the loop via an alumni talent pool, and things may just come full circle later along the line.  

Who’s Playing in the Corporate Alumni Talent Pool? 

In 2021 and beyond, the standard alumni talent pool can include quite a variety of ex-employees or collaborators. This includes:

  1. Ex-employees. These are your most obvious alumni members – people who were employed at your company full-time and elected to move on to ply their trade elsewhere.
  2. Contingent/seasonal workers. A contingent or seasonal worker is someone who is hired for a fixed period of time, often on a project basis and at times when a company needs extra hands within a given time frame.
  3. Freelancers. These are ‘guns for hire’ who prefer to work independently and choose their own projects. They are often at the top of their game and unwilling to be pinned down, even though they may work with a given business regularly.
  4. Retirees. Employees who reached retirement age and either had to step down due to contractual regulations or elected to leave to pursue a less demanding schedule. Nevertheless, they can be invaluable in a mentoring and consultation capacity due to their wealth of experience.
  5. Unsuccessful applicants. Although these candidates may never have worked at your company, per se, they can still be kept in the loop regarding new opportunities, etc. After all, just because they weren’t the right fit for one position does not mean they can’t shine in another.

The Advantages Of Nurturing An Alumni Talent Pool For Your Business

Increased Recruiting Potential

Recruiting Potential

According to Glassdoor, more than 70% of hiring managers say that their number one challenge is finding quality candidates. The economy may be in shambles, but the war for talent is still ongoing – high-quality candidates are always in demand. If you have an engaged alumni network, it acts as a ready-to-act source of top talent.

Fruitful Boomerang Hires

Boomerang hires are the people you re-employ after they have moved on to work elsewhere, spent time training, made a career change, or taken personal time. Employees don’t always leave because they don’t like working for your company – they may go because they are supporting a spouse who is making a move, or they may simply crave a change of scenery. Bringing them back into the fold later on can hold many benefits for all parties.

Walking Talking Brand Advocates

One of the major benefits of maintaining a corporate alumni network is that you have a hand in the prevailing narrative regarding your business, even outside of your doors. Treating ex-employees like you would your customers benefits your employer brand in many ways, especially when they can attest to the fact even after they leave.

In a more practical sense, they can also spread the word when you are on the lookout for fresh talent and put in a good word about your workplace.

Guaranteed Cultural Fit

Business Culture Fit

One of the most common reasons for needlessly high levels of voluntary turnover is the fact that new recruits aren’t suited to a particular corporate culture. However, when you hire from within an established talent pool – especially one with alumni in the mix – it’s much simpler to find candidates who fit the bill because the people who refer them know exactly what it’s like at the surface. 

Reduced Hiring Costs and Faster Fills

The costs associated with filling a vacant position is not to be ignored. Cost per hire is linked to recruiting talent and refers to the total cost of bringing the new employee to the company. It includes the expense of the recruitment process, equipment, travel costs, administrative costs, and benefits. The shorter the process, the less it costs.

Having a talent pool ready to go makes it a lot simpler to access a ready roster of candidates who already know what your business is about and have had experience with your team in the past. By filling vacant positions more quickly, you also reduce the odds of important information falling between the cracks in the handover.

Best Practices For Engaging Your Corporate Alumni Talent Pool

Show Them What’s In It For Them Right From the Start

Your alumni talent pool will be able to tell if you are using them as a glorified (unpaid!) recruitment platform. It’s important to create a community that gives back to the members who form a part of it. Otherwise, it’s just another mailing list.

Ask yourself why people should want to be a part of this community, and then provide them with something they can’t get anywhere else.

Engage With Authentic Communication

Engage With  Authentic Communication

However you choose to communicate with your talent pool, be sure to craft content that speaks to their needs specifically. For instance, your internal newsletter can’t simply be reskinned to be shared with this demographic. You need to look at things from their point of view and only share what’s relevant from there.

Provide Compelling Touchpoints

Increase engagement in your alumni talent pool by providing interesting opportunities to connect. For instance, you could ask ex-employees to write blogs based on their area of expertise and take care to share information on their achievements outside of your walls.

Final Thoughts

Leverage the reach of your corporate alumni talent pool by drawing on the experience and knowledge of ex-employees, contingent and seasonal workers, freelancers, retirees, and boomerang hires.

For more information on how an alumni program can work for you, get in touch with the EnterpriseAlumni team today.