A recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management reveals that only around 8% of businesses have formal alumni programs. The position of many corporations when it comes to its departing employees still seems to remain along the lines of: out of sight and out of mind.
Yet in a world of skills shortages, volatile markets, and fierce competition for talent, overlooking the value of maintaining relationships with former employees is a gross oversight. But it’s an easy one to remedy. Let’s take the management consultancy industry, for example. In the UK alone, 55,000 of 175,000 management consultants and business analysts currently make up the contingent workforce. They are not inexperienced aspirants; these are the former employees and company alumni of major global consultancies and corporates, a valuable and highly skilled talent resource seemingly hidden in plain sight and waiting to be utilised.
For organizations to get the talent they need, when they need it, creating a programme to tap into an extensive pool of available talent is critical. Building a company alumni system is a low-effort, low-cost building-block with which to lay the foundations of such a vital future network.
This is something that some of the bigger consultancy firms are beginning to recognise, much more than other industry. Firms such as McKinsey and BCG have established strong alumni networks with their former employees; more than 20% of EY hires at manager level are returning alumni. The Deloitte Alumni Network currently boasts 14,000 people. Yet at the moment, these are still predominantly support and event networks, not fully aligned with business and recruitment strategy.
If companies begin to expand and develop a more formalised alumni program with which to maintain a community of deployable talent, they will give themselves a competitive edge in talent acquisition.
So why exactly are alumni so important? Why is it worth keeping tabs on former employees, and why is it worth considering rehiring them in the future?
YOU WILL DEVELOP YOUR BUSINESS
You can guarantee that your boomerang employees will return with fresh knowledge, skills and industry insight that can improve your business. You’ll also save money on hiring costs, and the cost and time of onboarding or training, whilst guaranteeing an employee who already understands the culture, the job, and the nature of the organization. Rehires are 40% more productive in their first quarter of work than new employees, and often this can help influence employee morale, motivation and efficiency. Your existing employees will take note when former employees return, and this will enhance your own retention rates.
Don’t just pay attention to your alumni network after your employees have left the company. Start building relationships now with your current employees, since they will become your future alumni. Even if you don’t rehire, your alumni network can help you connect with other important influencers and powerful businesses in the future.
YOU WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR BRAND
If you build a relationship with your current employees, and maintain it with your alumni, you will develop a critical network of brand ambassadors. The alumni who feel valued will talk up your business, will help you raise profits, will act as a source of free advertising, and will help you attract talent and custom/sales.
If you step up your efforts to build these employee relationships, your company will reap immediate rewards should they ever leave your business. Even if you don’t opt to rehire an employee, they may still serve a critical role in offering valuable business insight and advice, or even in providing their own referrals.
We know it’s hard to get the ball rolling on this one. If you haven’t invested in an alumni network already, it might also seem a daunting task. How do you bring together all those people under one roof? How do you find all your former employees? How do you guarantee that all these employees will even sign up to an alumni network?
At Talmix, we can help you connect to the talent that slips under the radar. We won’t leave a stone unturned. And we’ll build beyond your network if necessary and locate available talent with matching skills and experience, should your preferred candidate be unavailable.
We have a global network of our own, providing immediate talent connections to businesses, on an as-needed basis, enabling companies to outsource their management of past, present and future acquisitions.
We understand that finding talent is hard, and that keeping it is even harder. So we help you to access your alumni, anytime, and anywhere in the world, and in the process, build your own talent pool without engaging with expensive recruiters.
Start your journey with Talmix today, and tap into the resources that will build your future workforce.