How to Write a Compelling Job Description for a Corporate Alumni Program Manager
The Alumni Program Manager position is a growing term and often needs a specific skillset. If you’re looking to add a program or a manager to your team, here are a few tips to get the right candidate.
Without someone to lead the charge, a Corporate Alumni Program will not succeed.
A community is a living, breathing entity that needs constant love and attention. It needs a person to advocate for the members, create engaging experiences, and connect it to the organization. If this is a brand new position for a company, creating a compelling job description to attract the right, qualified candidates is the first step.
The Alumni Program Manager title is relatively new over the last twenty years or so, and it is likely that your ideal candidate pool will include a number of people without direct corporate alumni relations experience. The people you may want to reach could come from human resources, community management, marketing, or communications backgrounds. You’re looking for someone who is charismatic, enjoys creating experiences for members online and through events, and can manage a lot of moving parts.
How to Build a Corporate Alumni Job Description:
Get readers excited about the position and the impact it will have on your organization.
For example, a recent post from a major retailer for a Director of Alumni Community quickly establishes what the job is while connecting it to the overall goals of the company:
“As a director, you will be leading the successful delivery of strategic programs for a newly launched Alumni Community through comprehensive engagement and acquisition. This is an active community of [company] alumni in the US -- connected by our mission, values and our shared ambition to help people and the planet thrive.”
2. Level, Department, and Location
Describe the level of the position — be it director, manager or coordinator — to help candidates assess what experience level you’re seeking. Does the position have regional or global responsibilities? It’s also important to specify what department the position is part of and to whom the alumni manager will report.
Especially important in 2021 and beyond is to mention where will this position be located. Is it important that they are on site or can it be remote? If remote work is allowed, is there a particular time zone you prefer? The workforce has changed following COVID-19 and it is important to be inclusive of the way people prefer to work.
3. Skill Set
Outline the skills you’re seeking in a successful candidate. Typically alumni program managers have deep experience building online communities. Companies might choose someone who knows the most alumni or been with the company a long time, and while this might be helpful, ultimately you want someone in the position who understands all of the intricate details of creating engagement, managing a website, working with large data sets, and is also creative.
For example, job duties in a recent job posting for a global alumni strategy and engagement coordinator outlined 13 detailed requirements for the position:
- Understanding of the company’s partnership, business and account team models
- Excellent verbal communication and skills in English
- Self-starter: displays consideration and respect for others and puts team success ahead of personal opinion
- Great planning skills, ability to juggle multiple projects, deadlines and competing priorities
- Proficiency in MS Office, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook
- Good computing skills, comfortable with IT/system tools
- Excellent organizational skills, ability to set priorities, high attention to details and follow-ups
- Able to perform well in a fast-paced, deadline driven and service-oriented environment
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work independently and effectively in a virtual team environment, partnering across functions, geographies, cultures and staff levels within [the company]
- Convey a strong positive personal and professional image with excellent standards of professional behavior and ethics
- Team player, highly motivated, energetic, resourceful, and friendly
- Service-oriented, flexible and able to work under pressure
- Self-starter, results-driven, solution-oriented
In addition to a detailed description of the skill set you’re seeking, it’s helpful to include a list of qualifications that cover everything from education to experience. Some specifics to cover may include the following.
- Number of years of relevant work experience
- Social media and/or writing qualifications
- Experience with an alumni program management platform
- Strategic planning/project management experience
- Event planning experience
5. Onboarding Expectations
Community Management often covers a large variety of tasks such as content management, data management, design, web operations, measurement & analytics, event management, and more. The first few months can be overwhelming, so a great new best practice is to outline what the first 90 days, first 6 months, and first year will look like.
6. Organization Description
Include a general overview of what your organization does, plus a link to its website. A summary of the organization’s vision, mission and values can help potential candidates assess if they are a good fit. You can also add a link to your organization’s GlassDoor listing if you feel the reviews provide an accurate view of what it’s like to work there.
The better the job description, the more likely you are to find the right candidates for the alumni manager position. By spending time identifying the skills, qualifications and experience you want from your candidates, you’ll ensure a better outcome for both the recruiting process and the success of your alumni program.