What Is A Corporate Alumni Program?

by Community Admin in Video   |    Last Edited: 23rd January 2021

A corporate alumni program, is specifically a community created to enable organizations to maintain a relationship with their former employees, its based on two core principals, the functional one is, as a company you have spent an enormous amount of time and money finding and sourcing the right candidate, investing in their success via both compensations but also continuous education and other retention programming, so when an employee leaves, not maintaining a relationship is essentially giving up that massive investment you have made in the individual.

The second reason tends to be more human in nature, which is the recognition that your network is your net-worth and that applies to organizations too. There is an incredible amount of data that reflects maintaining a relationship with people is good for business, whether it is for recruiting, sales, business development, brand advocacy or any other organizational objective.

EnterpriseAlumni powers the Alumni programs for many of the worlds largest and most innovative organizations. Our platform enables these companies to stay engaged with their employees throughout their career – which is especially important given the average time an employee stays with an organizations has drastically gone down in the past decade. Leaving is no longer considered an act of disloyalty and so employees are more willing to bounce around organizations and they don’t feel an obligation to stay until retirement. Organizations are understanding this and building out their Corporate Alumni Program to recognize the changing face of employment, the importance of connections and the ability to leverage this vast army of former employees to meet organizational goals.

As we think about why these programs are so important to organizations and how they drive a strong ROI and impact the bottom line, the why can be split into 4 key pillars.

The first, is “brand advocacy” which really starts by recognizing that the employee experience doesn’t end at the exit interview, leaving a company should be as good a process as joining as that last touch you have with that employee is an incredible opportunity to make it an amazing one, and ensuring your former employee walks out as an advocate for your organization. As one customer in the retail industry recently put it – when an employee walks out the door, we have to treat it like a promotion, from employee to customer.

The second is recruitment, and the data is incredible on how Alumni programs drive accelerated recruiting and referral programs. About 17% of employees at EY are Alumni, 12% at Citi, 15% at Microsoft, at Sodexo they saw that “boomerangs” stay on average 2 years longer – but more importantly, Alumni are a vast pool of pre-screened, pre-qualified and readily accessible talent. So as an organization there is a drastic decrease in the time to fill roles, and the time it takes them to be effective in your organization as they dont need the same level of training as a new employee. Alumni as a talent pool are considered the No.1 source of quality hire above job boards, recruiters and referrals. We also see many organizations leveraging their Alumni community for referrals, where is some organizations an Alumni referred candidate is nearly 20% more likely to get the role.

So as an organization it becomes the difference between hiring strangers who have never worked for you before, you don’t really know how effective they will be and you have to sort through hundreds of resumes and interview steps to even find them, vs your former employees where you know the fit and you know what to expect.

The third is around Sales & Business Development, one professional services organization attributes up to 40% of net new business as originating or having an Alumni as part of the process – it doesn’t matter what industry your organization is in, your Alumni will go to partners, customers, competitors, prospects and more – and your ability to know where they are can drive your sales funnel.

The final pillar tends to be around specific initiatives your organization is accelerating or working on, from D&I to extending Employee Resource Groups to Mentoring, Volunteering or a marketing effort to drive your thought leadership and brand exposure.

When you have a community of former employees and a method to engage and deliver them value, as an organization, you can call on them and treat them like an extension of your employee base.