The former Managing Director in Citibank’s Corporate and Investment Bank shares his experiences building the company’s EMEA alumni program.Read more
Why Carry Out An Alumni Engagement Survey?
An alumni engagement survey is the best way to understand your alumni and position them as a source of rehires. Here are 6 reasons why you should run one.
An alumni engagement survey is a form of market research that provides organizations with essential information about their alumni community.
Alumni are a valuable source of network intelligence. They provide organizations with competitive information, emerging industry trends, effective business practices, and more. They understand how your organization works while having knowledge of the outside world, including pertinent information about your competitors.
For these reasons alone you need to gauge their satisfaction with your alumni network and ensure that you add value to keep them interested and interacting with your alumni community.
When designing your alumni survey, make sure that it delivers raw data and actionable insights that can be used to improve your recruitment efforts. This includes gathering vital career information such as where they are working, the new skills and knowledge they have acquired, experiences they have had, and insights into what they’re looking for in their next job.
This helps match talent to opportunities between alumni and vacancies at your organization while at the same time providing in-depth insight into individual members.
Six Reasons To Carry Out An Alumni Engagement Survey
1. It Provides Valuable Insight Into The Health Of The Community
A healthy alumni community is a happy and engaged one. But do you know their sentiments toward your network? I.e., how happy and engaged they actually are?
Using the survey to pose questions like how you can assist them, either professionally or personally, and what they’d like to see more/less of on the platform, as well as their overall satisfaction with networking, mentoring, and interacting, will help you determine whether they satisfied. And will provide an understanding of how to keep them loyal and engaged with your network.
2. It Helps You To Understand What Your Alumni Value
With carefully curated questions that probe the value of your alumni engagement and experience offerings, you will be in a strong position to create content the community appreciates.
Do your newsletters, range of content, overall portal structure, and benefits programs add value to your alumni?
Do you need to increase the quality or volume of engagement activities – think polls, workshops, virtual meetups, fireside chats, mentoring, and volunteering programs?
By finding out which content and integrations to your platform are most consumed and used, you can retire those that have little engagement while focusing on the ones that do.
3. See What Actions Your Alumni Are Taking
Corporate Alumni include some of the most qualified talent and sales pools any organization can have, and it is vital that community managers understand what actions these former employees take to engage with your organization and fellow alumni (and how).
This provides businesses with a competitive advantage for enterprises in today’s tight labor market.
The actions your alumni take on the platform depend on two factors: firstly, the technology behind your alumni network program, such as integrations with popular platforms including Adobe Experience Manager, and platform features such as career development, a recruiter dashboard, and events modules.
These tools provide ways for your alumni to seamlessly engage with the organization and others in the network. Are you giving them the tools they prefer to use?
Secondly, by measuring how much they engage with these features, you will better understand whether your engagement strategy is impactful. It provides insight into important recruiter metrics such as whether they are likely to return, and how likely are they to refer a candidate or new business.
4. Provides Measurable Data
Once you’ve completed your alumni engagement survey, you can analyze responses, benchmark data, and discover key learnings.
Benchmarking is an opportunity to measure the performance of the alumni network’s engagement practices, and to see how much and what type of content was shared. This data can be used to evaluate how well your alumni network performs compared to those considered ‘best in class”. It provides actionable intelligence on internal opportunities that might need improvement.
Metrics, insights, and sentiments gathered from the survey can be shared with executives, department heads, and alumni management who can take the learnings on board, and consider what new practices or changes need to be made to provide a better alumni experience.
5. Gives An Overview Of The ROI
The overall purpose of an alumni network is to impact the organization’s bottom line in both revenue and savings. The ROI of an alumni program to organizations is measured across three core pillars: organizational, recruiting, and sales.
With these factors in mind, an alumni engagement survey will help organizations identify how an alumni program can align to achieve business or functional objectives, and where other companies have areas of opportunity to grow.
Our alumni research shows that companies with an engaged alumni community see a 2.8x increase in revenue per employee, 4.5x increase in product innovation, 6x increase in employer attractiveness and 10% increase in brand sentiment.
Companies with active alumni programs that measure success and understand the value drivers that deliver an engaged community are actively seeing a rapid ROI that positively impacts the organization’s bottom line.
6. Creates Feedback To Tailor Your Program & Keep Alumni Engaged
An alumni engagement survey is an important tool to measure members’ interest in what your program offers. For instance, the events, professional development opportunities, and networking capabilities you offer.
Open-ended questions may be time-consuming to parse, but by customizing questions for groups or different audiences you will gather valuable information that can be used to report to stakeholders and ultimately improve the alumni’s overall experience.
Answers to open-ended questions inform ways to further bring the community together, correct paths that have not yielded engagement, and map alumni member feedback to program goals.
An alumni engagement survey is a secret weapon that can be used to improve aspects of your alumni network – from the software you use to deliver experiences, to the range of engagement opportunities you offer.
Alumni engagement survey results can be directly compared with the analytical reports that are routinely created using alumni platform software. Together they provide strong data sets for identifying weaknesses and opportunities in your alumni network.
While the enthusiasm for your survey depends on how carefully your questions are worded, the value of it lies in the quality and quantity of your alumni network’s responses.