You probably keep in touch with some former colleagues. They might ask you for the current gossip, and who has moved where. They like to stay in the loop. In fact, all your managers and employees throughout the organisation keep in touch with former colleagues in the same way, too. Your alumni may be larger than your current workforce. They are also a great, untapped resource, when it comes to talent acquisition.
LinkedIn know a thing or two about alumni networks. In Oracle’s HR Marketer’s Guide to Talent Acquisition, LinkedIn stated that: “There are currently more than 180,000 alumni groups for large organisations on LinkedIn. In a world where people are increasingly transient in their employment and more willing to switch jobs than ever before, that’s to be expected.”
What’s really surprising, however, is that “just 15 per cent of these groups are actually managed by the organisation itself. Overwhelmingly, the networks are employee made and managed… That’s a huge missed opportunity.”
A valuable resource for talent-acquisition
Alumni networks of good leavers are an incredibly valuable resource for talent-acquisition teams. It’s about time they were given some time, care and attention. Afterall, who better to employ than someone that already knows your organisation inside-out, and has since added external knowledge and market experience to their skills set?
Writing in HR magazine, David Collings, professor of human resource management at Dublin City University, calls this “developing a boomerang pipeline”: “Our ongoing research suggests that boomerang hires are paid less than similarly-qualified external hires. They also perform better than external hires when they return. They can target roles that are a better fit for their capabilities and hiring managers can also ensure a good fit for the new role. Finally, these rehires tend to progress their careers more quickly on their return and are less likely to leave.”
Perhaps the most famous example is Steve Jobs, after resigning from Apple in 1985, he returned 12 years later, and the rest is literally history.
According to People Management magazine, Deloitte has one of the largest and most successful managed alumni networks, with more than 14,000 members, and connects with former employees via email every month. The firm has even launched an alumni talent network as a dedicated way to offer roles to leavers and their connections. Accountancy firm BDO also has more than 5,200 alumni in its formal network.
In The HR Marketer’s Guide to Talent Acquisition, talent expert Mervyn Dinnen advises that when managing your own social networks, “broadcasting to a huge group of people rarely has much meaningful value. The networks exist to facilitate conversations and the sharing of knowledge. Think about the benefit of what you’re sharing, and who it really has value for, before you share it. If the person who benefits the most from sharing it is you, it might be worth reassessing whether it’s something your professional network really is interested in.”
Promoting job opportunities across different channels
The Oracle Recruitment Cloud can help you get this right. You can market current and future opportunities across a wide variety of sourcing channels to ensure the widest reach to talent. This includes reaching out to followers and alumni via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, while encouraging employee referrals by directly connecting into their personal and professional contacts across multiple social networks.
With Oracle you can also highlight opportunities through dedicated career portals seamlessly integrated into your corporate website and alumni communication. This is designed to support multiple unique brands in more than 30 languages, tailored for specific hire types across both internal and external applicants. You can even deliver targeted content to prospective candidates with video and other rich media content.
So, next time you catch up with an old colleague, and they ask about the current goings-on – tell them to join your new alumni network. You never know – they may be the next Steve Jobs!