Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Hidden Job Market and Your Corporate Alumni

Corporate Alumni Programs Need a Hook

Your corporate alumni program is a long-term strategy. Just as you can’t expect to build it overnight, you need to plan to bring your alumni to your program not just once, but over and over and over again.

The simple fact of it is that alumni are infinitely more likely to make use of your alumni program when they have need of it – namely, when they’re in transition and looking for their next position – than when you want them to (passing on business, referrals, etc.)

So the question is – are you effectively hooking your corporate alumni program?

Corporate Alumni Are a Hidden Job Market

Fact: Jobs are not filled by job postings. 

Lou Adler discussed the results of a survey he had conducted to discover sources of hire earlier in 2013. They were incredible:

“Over half of (58%) of active candidates found jobs in this market, and an astonishing 81% of passive candidates found new jobs here.” (Adler)

This “hidden market” is comprised of individuals’ networks and opportunities for internal career movement – and it happens to be the main source of hire. My thoughts are that organisations and hiring managers are a lot more risk adverse since the last global financial crisis, and this is why such a high percentage of hires are happening by referrals and network introductions.  

In any case, your corporate alumni program is most certainly part of the hidden market, which means it’s extremely valuable to your alumni in transition.

Leverage the Value of Your Corporate Alumni Program

You can bet that your alumni will be in transition not just once, but over and over and over again – which is good news for you. Even if that may not be the case with your Boomer-aged alumni, job change is more frequent in Gen X, and especially so in Gen Y. (For more on engaging your multigenerational alumni community, read "How to Engage Your Corporate Alumni Community.")

They will need your corporate alumni network during those transitions. And before you can even start planning to engage them at those moments, you first have to communicate the value of your alumni network to them and get them to buy into it.


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