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Key Findings from the 2021 Corporate Alumni Benchmarking Report

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Companies are investing in teams, communicating on a consistent and frequent basis, employees are often a part of a Corporate Alumni Program, boomerangs and referral fees are of strategic value, and program metrics are becoming more sophisticated as these programs grow.

In our 2019 Research Report we took a deep dive into what motivates a former employee to participate in a Corporate Alumni Program, and where they find value. This was groundbreaking work that helped companies to design programs that speak to those motivations and values. At the 2019 iCan2 conference we collected feedback and suggestions from alumni program managers regarding questions they had about other programs, how often they communicated with their alumni, how were they measuring day-to-day community health as well as business drivers, and the integrations with human resources and the employee experience. The results were impressive, and we expect this to have a profound impact on the future of corporate alumni programs – especially as programs mature.

The 2021 Corporate Alumni Benchmarking report is now live. It is by far the most comprehensive and academic overview of the corporate alumni industry that covers program operations, communications, and measurement. This report is rich in data, but a few key findings include:

  1. Alumni programs are investing in their teams. Only 2% of programs do not have a full-time employee managing the program (down from 12% in 2016), and 30% have two or more dedicated staff (up from 22% in that same year).
  2. Consistent communications is a key program element — 70% of alumni programs engage with their community monthly or quarterly in varied ways.
  3. Introducing an alumni program earlier in the employment relationship is growing as 62% of programs encourage current employees to participate in the corporate alumni program (and 16% more aim to do this in the future).
  4. Boomerangs are proving to be a strategic source of talent as 68% of companies say that up to 5% of new hires are alumni rehires.
  5. An opportunity to boost alumni rehires exists as only 26% of companies offer an alumni referral incentive.
  6. Community health metrics are popular measurement methods as more than 80% track day-to-day actions. However, less than 50% track data related to the top business drivers

This is only a small sampling of what can be found in the report, but overall the data shows that as corporations continue to invest in the employee lifecycle through recruitment, employee engagement, and corporate alumni the returns will only grow creating value for both the participant and the corporation – especially in challenging times. There’s a lot of great opportunity to build these programs to support business drivers and integrate them further into company operations.