How to effectively leverage alumni employees for recruitment

Studies reveal that rehiring former employees costs only half as much as  hiring a new employee. Further, rehired employees are on average forty percent more productive compared to new employees during their first quarter at the company. And they typically stay longer with the company than the others. On average, a Fortune500 company stands to make annual savings of $12 million just by actively recruiting from their alumni employees.

Many in the HR and talent acquisition industries seem to be waking up to this fact. A survey jointly conducted by and The Workforce Institute reveals people’s attitude towards rehiring former employees. About 1,800 HR professionals, managers and executives took part in the survey. An overwhelming number of respondents agreed to the idea that a company’s relationship with a high-performing employee shouldn’t end once the employee leaves the firm.

But the aforementioned survey also shows that eighty percent of employees find their previous employers lack any recruitment measures which make them want to return to the fold. In fact, sixty four percent mentioned their ex-employers didn’t even bother maintaining a relationship with them once they left the company.

Those figures show missed opportunities- to tap into a pool of skilled talent you could readily access, and from whom you could get trustworthy referrals.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the different ways to leverage your alumni employees in recruitment.

1. Stay in touch with them

There is no such thing as ‘occasional alumni.’ Honoring this, consistently keep in touch with them, so they feel they always remain part of the talent community. The only exclusion to this is if they explicitly make clear they don’t wish to be contacted for some reason. Even as an employee leaves the company, make sure that the offboarding is smooth and amicable. Communicate to them that they are welcome to join back if a relevant opportunity arises in the future. Obtain their permission so that you could remain in touch with them.

2. Give them opportunities to gain value

Give your alumni non-traditional avenues to gain value. An example is hosting virtual happy hours for alumni members. Another example is conducting classes where they could learn new skills which would help in their career. Who knows, in the future, with the added skills, they may find themselves suited for a new role in your company.

3. Update them with the latest news about the company

Keep your alumni employees updated about the latest goings on in the company. Share with them info about the latest events your company hosts. Also, if a new role opens, notify relevant members about it. Instead of asking them openly to apply, give them the options to apply or to refer someone from their network for the role.

4. Provide incentives

Many companies have an incentive policy in place by which employees get rewarded if someone they refer for a role joins the company. Such a policy could be extended for alumni employees too.

5. Connect with the alumni on platforms where they are

While communicating with the alumni, do so over a channel of their preference. It could be a social media platform like LinkedIn or Facebook, or even a more intimate channel like a dedicated Google Group for alumni. No matter the channel, let the alumni decide which one they are most comfortable with.

If the alumni is part of your talent community and you use a tech platform like TalentNet, this becomes much easier. TalentNet is a software platform that functions as a One Doorway into all types of talent- contingent, full time or freelancers. Be they ex-employees, current employees or skilled talent on the lookout for jobs, you can include them all in the talent community which you could build and maintain using the platform.