Recruiter’s Secret Weapon | @jds_again | The #SocialRecruiting Show

by | May 6, 2020

An affiliation to your firm – Recruiter’s Secret Weapon

Talking to us about why your company alumni is a Recruiter’s secret weapon this week is James Sinclair from EnterpriseAlumni. When companies talk about their alumni, they often refer to a group of people they still talk to. People who have moved to other companies, their University alumni, or a loose network of people that still contribute to their business sporadically. What they are not referring to is a programme for maintaining relationships, sharing valuable information, and fostering loyalty in current and former employees.

Having worked in rapid innovation for start-ups and enterprise-scale companies, James is well-versed in the “concept of just hurry and get it done!”. To clarify the origins of EnterpriseAlumni “we built alumni as a proof of concept for a customer who was talking about why is their off-boarding not as good as their onboarding”. He then further explored “why is leaving a company not the same great experience as when you’re joining”.

Talking about the power of alumni, James points to the fact that,

“Statistically, hiring alumni is extremely rewarding – time to productivity goes down by 50%”, and from a recruitment standpoint in terms of open requirements, “time to fill goes down by 50%”.

He tells us that some of his current clients have “filled between 12%-20% of their open jobs by bringing people back in – the numbers are overwhelming!”.

This is human recruiting

Alumni sounds great! If I’m a company at the beginning of this journey, where do I start?

In this paragraph, James tells us that EnterpriseAlumni sees “70% of their conversations in the HR line of business”. However, where do you actually start? – “literally anywhere”. Whether that’s using a platform or a preferred social channel. To clarify, “this is not always about technology, it’s about being human and having someone passionate”. There are 3 key elements to start your alumni programme, “Executive support, a little bit of budget and passion”.

Moving on, the subject of ‘what’s in it for me?’ As a potential member of the Alumni,

“you have to serve the Alumni first”. A company can offer “discounts, mentoring and volunteering”. A great way to retain Alumni interest is through the employee resource groups “when you leave, you still care about these groups, when you leave, you still care about that”.

It then makes sense for the company to continue to extend the membership of that group even after the employee has left the business.

In closing, a piece of advice for all companies that are thinking about Alumni programmes. As an example, in partnering with a company in Singapore, the business saw a 90% conversion within their Alumni. This was because the company contacted them on the right social media channel. In short, the feedback was that the company was present “where I live”.

If that wasn’t enough, below you’ll hear James talk about:


  • Why does offboarding need to be negative?
  • Leveraging your alumni
  • Reframing the assessment of Quality of Hire
  • Building an army of advocates
  • Scaling your alumni
  • Alumni matching through your ATS

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