5 Ways to Capture the Power of Alumni

By Catriona Mcdermott

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More and more corporates look to winning back former employees to meet the demands of growth and particularly if they have “niche” skills that are in short supply and difficult to recruit. Alumni are a fast and cost-effective recruitment channel as both sides ‘know’ each other, settling in should be easier and productivity faster. The cost savings can be significant across resources, recruitment fees and on-boarding. Here are 5 ways to capture the power of Alumni:

1. Exit Interviews – A key opportunity towards rebuilding a bridge in need of repair and a key step towards creating goodwill towards your brand. Depending on their reasons for leaving, it is a great opportunity to :

  • Ask them to please apply for jobs in the future and let them know that their application would be most welcome;
  • Ask if they would like to stay in touch for future career opportunities in the years to come. Most will want to do this if reminded that corporates evolve, management changes and their own careers develop. Their reasons for leaving may quickly no longer be valid and it is worth asking them to keep the door open on communication;
  • Verify email addresses and discuss best ways to maintain contact (see 2 below and make sure they are asked to connect, join or follow);
  • Thank them for their service and wish them well in their new job. Line Managers or Supervisors/Team Leaders (if appropriate) should be doing this too and they should be keeping contact for future recruitment. However, having HR or someone as an independent contact is vital;
  • Back-up the final conversation with a thank you and best of luck email. This is a win-win here as at best you will create brand ambassadors plus you will have established an important communication that will be positively remembered. 

2. Create Alumni Groups – LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing (for Germany/Switzerland) etc. It is best to capture employees before they become Alumni. It makes it easier to maintain an open communication channel. Alumni may not rush to join immediately after leaving but give it 6-8 months and they may well be open to receiving an invitation to join. Groups are a great communication tool as you can do direct messaging to members as well as share corporate news, communicate employer branding, post vacancies and generate referrals.

3. Alumni Relationship Program – create one to fit your organisation and resources. Take a look at some of the top universities who are doing a terrific job networking with their Alumni across global markets and who now offer a great service to corporates!

4. Extend Your Employee Referral Program To Include Alumni - let employees know that referrals from former colleagues are most welcome. Sorting out job or team fit should not be the immediate concern – this is looked at later as part of any recruitment process. But just to be the Devil’s Advocate – why not extend referral incentives to Alumni? Alumni probably keep friends with former colleagues who work for other competitors or service providers, they are constantly meeting peers through their own personal or professional networking efforts, industry/trade conferences and so long as the referral has no professional conflict of interest why not?

5. Invite Alumni to an annual company event - getting an invitation from the CEO or Director is hard to ignore and if anything extends another opportunity to engage in relationship building.

5 Ways to Capture the Power of Alumni is part of our Recruitment Masterclass Workshops.

To find out more about how we can help you: email [email protected] or telephone: + 352 27112 7301 www.theark.lu or connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catrionamcdermott1

About Me: Over the past 18 years I have worked as a HR Executive and Consultant delivering HR/Recruitment Solutions across Europe in Recruitment Training, Talent Sourcing, Talent Acquisition and Corporate Development. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn but please refer your reason for connection to this article. Best. Catriona

Tags: Recruitment, Alumni, Training, Human Resources, Strategies


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