Alumni, Not Deserters

by Community Admin in General
Published: 2nd May 2016

Companies are starting to understand that treating former employees like alumni rather than deserters makes for good business: You never know where your next client or piece of business or brand ambassador might come from but it could well be your former staff.

Whilst many companies have applied best efforts in a bid to keep tabs on former workers as a talent pool as well as a source of new business, it has been challenging. These efforts have typically been managed on spreadsheets – where the data quickly becomes out of date, is labour intensive and does not integrate with other software. Or on a social network, often managed by someone not employed by the company. None of these options are future proofed, allow for intelligent use of alumni data and harness technology to solve these issues.

SAP recently digitized and updated personnel records of former employees from paper documents and old computer files in the human-resources department, says Mike Ettling, president of SAP’s SuccessFactors unit, a cloud-based software platform for human resources. Streamlining those records helped SAP set up a database and a platform on which its alumni can interact with one another and with current workers, Mr. Ettling says. The overarching goals, he says, are to stay connected to alumni talent as well as drive sales and brand awareness through word-of-mouth.
For assistance setting up its platform, SAP enlisted us EnterpriseJungle as an alternative to the informal groups of alumni that pop up on big public networks. With its new platform, launched last month, SAP plans to target specific groups of alumni with email newsletters, and to offer webinars, blogs and live community events, as well as extend invitations to in-person special events for VIP alumni. Current workers will broadcast the message, too, to drive alumni to the platform.

The Wall Street Journal’s leadership section ran a piece expanding on these theme which you can read here:


Companies Tap Alumni for New Business and New Workers – WSJ Companies like SAP and Nielsen are setting up online platforms to in closer touch with former employees who can bring the companies new business and new hires.



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