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How Alumni Solutions Can Better Your Business

By Kelly Reed, Business Solutions Designer at Broadleaf Results

In recent months, the novel coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the American economy, leaving millions of unemployed workers in its path. Terms like “layoff” and “furlough” have become synonymous with the coronavirus pandemic, as businesses have been forced to re-evaluate the size of their workforces.

While our country readies for reopening, employers are doing their part by preparing to scale. In times like these, an extra set of hands in the workplace is in high demand. Yet HR leaders must be particularly conscious of cost and efficiency when identifying potential talent additions. So, rather than spending time trying to discover new employees, why not seek to bring back old ones?

Alumni programs provide organizations with a different way of viewing their candidate pool. An alumni solution is built on capturing workers who have performed services for a business in the past, but left on positive terms and are eligible for re-engagement. Whether these ex-employees voluntarily departed from their previous role or were furloughed or laid-off due to financial constraints, companies can pursue these individuals and bring them back to their organization to fill vacant positions or complete urgent assignments.

Here are four advantages to utilizing an alumni solution for your talent needs:

  1. Greater efficiency in the recruiting process
    An effective alumni solutions program allows companies to shorten the life cycle of recruiting. Internal recruiting teams are no longer forced to devote significant time and resources to sourcing and vetting candidates. Rather, organizations can access a pool of proven ex-employees who have showed interest in a return. By calling on this alumni “database” of sorts, companies can bypass the formal, lengthy interview process, having the comfort in their understanding of the candidate’s character and potential fit within the organization. With prior knowledge of the alum’s workforce capabilities and qualifications, organizations can considerably lessen the time-to-hire.
  2. Familiarity with the company
    The value of an alumni worker’s understanding of a company and their previous history of success cannot be understated. By utilizing an ex-employee to fill an open position, organizations wouldn’t have to worry about getting the candidate “up to speed.” There would be little to no need for properly training the employee and orienting them within the company. Instead, the returning worker can more immediately be fully productive. Possessing a previous understanding of how the company operates allows the employee to instantly bring value upon arrival.
  3. Increased cost savings
    Not only would the alumni worker’s initial productivity pay huge financial dividends for the company, but the cost savings could be significant as well. By constructing alumni populations in a proprietary database and sourcing candidates for new requisitions through Broadleaf Results, workers can be onboarded at a significantly lower markup versus traditional staffing markups. It is estimated that these cost savings can amount to upwards of 50 percent. Additionally, companies can choose to bring back alumni workers in different capacities. For example, an organization can re-hire a former full-time employee in a lesser role to work only on as-needed projects. By compensating this worker on a temporary basis, the company would reduce payroll costs and better conform to its financial budget.
  4. Aids in building a stronger brand
    An alumni solution program is important in the evaluation of company culture. If ex-employees are willing and openly interested in returning to their previous organization, this alone is a tremendous sign of a positive and healthy workplace environment. Devoting appropriate resources to constructing a robust alumni program can prove to be an incredibly strategic business move. Word-of-mouth advocacy can augment an organization’s brand and help it in attracting proven talent. Curating pools of prospective workers with demonstrated histories of success will ultimately work to any company’s benefit in the long-haul.

Alumni solution programs have become an increasingly prevalent talent solution for companies of all shapes and sizes. Due to the unprecedented number of employee furloughs and layoffs that came as a result of COVID-19, organizations will undoubtedly look to these programs to tap into their alumni database as they look to appropriately scale their workforces in the months ahead.

To learn more about how Broadleaf can build an alumni solution to assist your talent needs, you can connect with Kelly on LinkedIn.