Recruiting, Talent

Corporate Alumni: An Untapped Talent Pool

Not that long ago, corporate alumni figured prominently in a company’s recruitment strategy. In recent years, however, this talent pool has fallen off the radar somewhat, and employers may be losing out on what these candidates have to offer.

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A new survey from EnterpriseAlumni, a corporate alumni platform, offers insight into the obstacles companies face, as well as the advantages to overcoming them.

Staying in Touch

Maintaining contact with former employees and staying up to date with their current status isn’t without challenges. In fact, alumni managers say that maintaining evergreen data on former employees in order to enable re-engagement is the biggest obstacle they face when trying to build a successful alumni community.
Companies that have built and tapped an alumni community find that education, niche content, and social programs most readily allow for re-engagement.

Willing and Able

And there’s good reason to stay in touch with corporate alumni. A full 74 percent of alumni say they are willing to do project work for their former employer.
Availability isn’t the only reason to re-engage with alumni. The skills and abilities of these would-be candidates are known. In addition, they are familiar with the organization and its culture. From an administrative standpoint, any onboarding should be minimal, and training most likely will not be necessary.
“Companies that properly engage their alumni see results immediately. There is not a more qualified labor pool for large business than their alumni. The only question for companies is if they decide to engage them,” said James Sinclair, principal of EnterpriseAlumni.

Tapping Talent

The study finds that larger and more innovative organizations are blurring the lines between employee, contractor, and alumni, turning instead to the right person, right time, and right place.
EnterpriseAlumni cites four companies that have tapped alumni, and what they discovered.

  • Sodexo found that their boomerang hires had a 44 percent higher retention rate over a three-year time frame.
  • McKinsey believes that by building a worldwide network of former consultants, it is better able to serve the needs of current clients.
  • More than 20 percent of the people EY hires at the manager level and above are returning alumni.
  • In its launch year in 2016, the SAP alumni program successfully engaged alumni to drive new business opportunities.

Further Advantages

EnterpriseAlumni survey findings suggest there is yet another reason to build an alumni network: Alumni want and are ready to be leveraged as a social tribe to extend and drive their prior employers’ social causes and good human programs.
Isn’t it time you fully leveraged this talent pool?

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.