Keep your alumni close: why your ex-employees could be your future workforce
Many consulting firms want to operate a leaner staffing model. It has a clear appeal: having the right number of staff available for new business, or to ensure delivery of existing assignments, but not having too many bench sitters. Like boy scouts, consultancies have to be prepared. And that means having access to the right talent at all times.
From our experience at Talmix, where we work with many mid-large sized consulting firms, this talent requirement has two threads: the specialist expertise (normally for short-term insight and likely to be sourced from the target industry) and ‘elastic sourcing’ – creating teams to augment existing headcount, but only on an ‘as and when’ basis.
As with any business, consultants move on, taking their training and skills with them. It’s no surprise that many are now following the general work trend to move to independent working: could these independent ‘exes’ provide an answer to future talent requirements?
The appeal of the alumni network
Recruiting from scratch, particularly into existing engagements, can be hit and miss, whatever the level, or the industry. Knowing who you’re dealing with is a huge win. If someone is schooled in the BBM way, it’s very easy to slot in, to get up and running.
It’s not a new idea to look to the alumni; recruiting from a personal network, which typically means your former colleagues are the first port of call for most hiring managers. Going beyond this network is the challenge: knowing that there are perfect matches out there, yet without an easy way to access them. You remember Juan, but perhaps John is the perfect fit for the current work. Where is Jane these days? Even with a loose alumni network, knowing the current employment status, the recently acquired relevant knowledge, isn’t as accessible.
Talmix provides businesses with an easy way to match their requirements to the best independent talent. It’s increasingly used by consulting firms to select from the global pool of 40,000 independent consultants, creating a subset of talent on demand. Our consultants frequently have backgrounds in one or more of these consulting firms, so building an accessible pool also creates a dynamic, and current, alumni network.
Firms know what’s needed; they can select on those criteria, and even extend that pool to similar backgrounds and pedigrees. It means there is an always-on network, and Talmix technology means that they can dip in and out , match and review the best available consultants at any time – emergency help for a project, or creating the perfect team mix for a large engagement.
Beyond the alumni
Using a platform like Talmix to access alumni becomes even more powerful when the talent requirement goes beyond the current capabilities of existing staff or alumni. It gives flexibility to extend the search criteria into the wider pool, and keeping all other parts of the selection process the same so that there are no new systems to learn, or additional staffing firms to engage.
Keeping your colleagues close and your alumni closer may seem obvious. As the way that everyone works changes, it becomes even more critical to be able to view and access the talent that you’ve trained, but haven’t necessarily retained. If the workforce is becoming more fluid, having the right talent pools is going to become critical.
Talk to Talmix today about how to access your alumni, anywhere in the world.
About the Author
Dorothy is a technology marketing veteran who is responsible for building the Talmix brand globally and creating digital programmes to engage and retain our audiences.More Content by Dorothy Mead