Starting your Alumni Program

Why Deloitte Never Says Goodbye to Talent: They’re Colleagues For Life

Insights from Deloitte's retired Director of Alumni Relations on why the company never says goodbye to talent

It’s fair to say that Deloitte knows what it’s doing in the HR space. After all, this is a multinational professional services network with offices in 150+ countries and territories. As such, it’s good to take heed of what the business is doing internally.

For insight, we turned to Sandra Viola, the retired National Director of Alumni Relations at Deloitte Services LP (and an alumna herself!). In a recent thought piece for LinkedIn, Sandra discusses the company’s thriving alumni community where departing employees are known as colleagues for life.

Here are a few key takeaways from her article:

How To Build an Alumni Program That Attracts Colleagues for Life

1. Create Opportunities For Real Connection 

If you only ever reach out to your alumni when you want something from them, your platform is unlikely to gain any traction. So, instead of simply posting job openings or sharing info on new goods/services, develop a content plan that speaks to the needs of your alumni. 

This should include well-crafted newsletters, segmented communication, as well as engaging social media posts. 

2. Make Sure Your Culture Reaches Alumni

What’s great about your company culture? Are you offering your employees the opportunity to upskill by getting discounted rates on online educational materials? Offer these incentives to your alumni as well. 

Or perhaps you offer webinars by industry professionals on personal finances etc. Give your former employees access so they can benefit too. 

3. Offer a Variety of Alumni Experiences 

Alumni will attend in-person and virtual events for different reasons. Some want to network or simply see their friends. Others want to be educated and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to industry trends. It could also be a case of people wanting to keep in touch with company initiatives. 

For this reason, be sure to offer a variety of event options that speak to various needs. 

4. Drive Mutually Beneficial Action Whenever You Can 

Always be ready to involve your alumni in building your brand in a way that can benefit them. Sure, you stand to get great ROI if they refer a fantastic new employee. But what do they get out of the deal? Are you putting referral incentives in place? There needs to be a give and take for actions to be mutually beneficial. 

5. Add Value At All Times

There are countless professional connection platforms out there. If your alumni network is a glorified mailing list or a lacklustre attempt at ‘the new LinkedIn,’ it won’t work. Be ready to add value at all times. Ask yourself what your alumni need and want that they can only get from you. Then give it to them consistently. This is a win-win for everyone. 

Final Thoughts

There are countless benefits to enticing departing employees to remain colleagues for life. You can create a successful alumni program by developing opportunities for real connection and ensuring your culture reaches your alumni. Also, offer a variety of experiences, drive action, and add value at all times. 

You can read the full thought piece here

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