A few weeks ago, the HBS Career & Professional Development (CPD) team had a very successful trip to Minneapolis where we met local recruiting partners, alumni and current students pursuing internships in the area this summer.

The trip was a success due to many factors but one in particular stood out – the power of the HBS alumni network. Although we talk about it all the time, it is another thing to see it come to life right before your very eyes. During our alumni event, we witnessed alumni offering their time, energy and resources to support one another in a way that made it feel like a group of old friends getting together. Many alumni spent much of their time sharing updates with one another about their current roles and organizations, providing details on the work that they are doing and discussing opportunities that exist within their respective organizations now and in the future. The power of this forum to build relationships and connect with others who may be looking for opportunities for career growth is an exceptional one for organizations in a local area. By encouraging current employees to connect and engage with candidates from their alma mater, your company’s talent pipeline will inevitably expand.

Additionally, leveraging employees to spread awareness of opportunities at your firm can be an effective way to recruit students. Last year, our office conducted a study to gain insight into what really matters to students as they embark on the recruiting process. Overwhelmingly, students reported that interacting with HBS alumni who are current or former employees at a particular organization was a very effective recruiting tactic. This is an important note for recruiters to keep in mind as they plan their recruiting strategy for the upcoming year. For example, if your organization is participating in a company presentation, consider sending an alum of the school to help present.

Our office will continue to travel to many US and international cities over the coming months and we encourage alumni to attend our networking events and to support their organizations in the search for talent. For additional recruiting strategies, contact your industry or location dedicated employer relations manager.

- Betsy Strickland, HBS Career & Professional Development