Three Benefits of a Corporate Alumni Network
A corporate alumni network is beneficial for both the former employee as well as the business. Creating lifelong relationships results in a number of benefits to a company for years to come.
Companies are rethinking the talent management lifecycle. Considering how to continue relationships with former employees has significant benefits to both the company and the alumni. A few examples of immediate benefits are:
Leveraging Community Feedback
Review systems are in place at most companies to help drive performance, establish and maintain KPIs, and create development plans to help employees succeed in their careers. Having open conversations with employees throughout their tenure about their plans and what that might look like even if they plan to leave are valuable – these are typically referred to as informal stay interviews. Having more information at the time of departure from an exit interview helps organizations address gaps in training, development, or growth opportunities. A smart exit process will thank an employee for their time, but also include a survey that can bring in additional insights. We have more on this in our recent benchmarking report.
The opportunity for feedback doesn’t end with the employee/employer relationship. Companies can tap into their alumni networks for additional industry intelligence as they ready a new product to bring to market. Your alumni network can provide you a beta group for additional brand and product development. Former employees already know the company’s strengths in the marketplace and what the competitive advantages are and are likely to speak candidly.
Building Business Relationships
Depending on the type of company (B2B vs B2C), the business referral pipeline may look a little different. Often employees will leave to go work with clients they’ve built relationships with over time. If you have a groundswell of former employees at one client there’s a big opportunity to keep the business relationship strong continuing to further sales, but also keeping your business service top of mind for new opportunities.
Bringing Back Boomerangs
Alumni can also fill your talent pipeline. Hiring the right talent for a position is expensive and takes time. A boomerang is someone who comes into a new role already knowing the company, the customers, the culture and bringing with them the experience, insights, and perspective from their career. Aside from an employee returning, they can also refer outside talent from their network for positions.
Only 26% of corporations offer an Alumni Referral Fee, so this is something to consider setting yourself apart. Alumni can help fast-track a qualified candidate for a position which helps the employer — and also for the outside prospective employee, as the former employee will have already told them all the positive benefits to working there.
Alumni networks form organically with former employees on various sites like LinkedIn groups (which is no substitute for a formal alumni program), and each day companies are beginning to understand and monetize the value that comes from keeping relationships strong. This is an unrealized opportunity for companies to step forward and recognize the importance of this network and create those mutually beneficial opportunities.