5 Ways To Elevate Talent Relationship Management With An Alumni Program

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 03rd July 2020

Talent relationship management – it could pass as a buzzword. Not to dismiss it though, it’s a scope of proven HR strategies implemented by the most successful organizations to retain their top candidates. 

As a process, talent relationship management is driven by ideas, systems, and technology that support a company in developing relationships with the talent it wants to hire. However, the process doesn’t end at hiring, the act continues after offer acceptance and onboarding. Indeed, the principles extend into retention strategies.

Benefits Alumni Program

Retaining Talent With An Alumni Program

Now, it might seem counter-productive to drop mention of an organization’s alumni program into pre-hire talks. For some, it may seem taboo even once the contract is signed. No one wants to imply that this brand new, highly anticipated working relationship isn’t going to work out.

Well, there’s good news and there’s bad.

The bad is, employees do leave. They get offered new opportunities. They take a career break. They retire. They are millennials. They aren’t engaged. For whatever reason, things don’t always work out and that’s ok.

The good news is that perceptions are changing. Organizations no longer see an employee leaving as the end of the line. Instead, they foresee its potential benefits. Forbes, for example, makes the case for forming a strong bond with former team members based on the fact that they might offer the organization significant benefits later on.

Benefits Of An Alumni Program:

  • Create advocates for life, that is, ensure that an employee exit isn’t necessarily the end of a relationship
  • Receive lucrative business references, points of contact, and referrals, whether it’s for sales, organizational goals, or other hires
  • Build on your talent pipeline for access to qualified boomerangs or potential re-hires in future
  • Strengthen your employer brand – it says a lot about your organization’s values if ex-employees are willing to advocate for you
  • Increased loyalty amongst current employees when they see the value you add for alumni
  • Establish brand ambassadors who continue to represent your organization
  • Access business intelligence from advancing career professionals

5 Ways To Elevate Talent Relationship Management Through Your Alumni Program

Employee Onboarding To Alumni Program

1. Offer Sign Up At Onboarding

As an ongoing part of talent relationship management, know that it’s never too early to register talent to your alumni program once they are hired. Rather than waiting to sign them up as they exit the door, make it a step in the onboarding process. Businesses with a clear understanding of the benefits of the alumni relationship choose to make their program opt-out rather than opt-in during onboarding.

Not only is this much easier because you can layout the incentives right away but at this stage, talent entering the organization will be open to embracing the opportunities that arise.

On the other hand, you have to work a lot harder to earn engagement with the program after the exit interview. This is despite the same benefits being on offer. The tables have simply turned with the candidate’s focus of opportunity now lying outside of the organization.

Early onboarding signifies a path of things to come and lets the candidate know that the company is willing to invest in their relationship for the long term. 

2. Provide Access To Alumni Discounts and Pricing

For employees, signing onto the alumni program early on in the relationship is a perk. The benefits they get access to are manifold and this is where talent relationship management can be elevated for better job satisfaction.

According to SHRM, satisfaction can often be tied into factors that the organization has control over, such as pay, benefits, and job security. Satisfaction acts as a motivation to perform in the workplace. When an organization scores poorly in these areas, their talent leaves. Along with a lack of career development, low pay is one of the biggest reasons employees resign.

Providing employees with access to alumni discounts and pricing, such as restaurant deals, electronics and technology pricing, corporate travel perks, can add to their overall satisfaction. Furthermore, knowing that these are guaranteed to the point of becoming alumni and beyond, can provide huge motivation for a mutually beneficial relationship to form.

Continued Career Development

3. Open Doors For Continued Career Development

We heard that a lack of career development is the number two reason why employees move onto greener pastures. Because of this, talent relationship management needs to include opportunities for continued career advancement. The alumni program can support this through opening doors to organized career fairs, networking events, matching with mentors, and continued organization training, which are typically perks of the program.

Not only that, but alumni programs also provide an internal platform for talent to get first access to roles opening up within the organization. As the platform software acts as a talent pool database and is driven by data, employees can be both passively recruited for a role as well as apply internally, based on an AI-driven recommendation that identifies the high potential candidates.

4. Place Connections For Professional and Personal Advancement

A big drawcard in alumni programs are the powerful, continued relationships that are upheld by its members. In the case of candidates joining an organization, the advantages of drawing from these resources extend far beyond sitting in a boardroom training. Mentors provide career-altering advice and network contacts open the door to meaningful opportunities, all of which allow for professional and personal development.

Alumni Talent Management

5. Extend The Olive Branch At Exit

If organization policy says talent is only eligible for alumni membership on exit, ensure that offboarding covers admission to the program. Aside from the potential benefits for the organization that ex-employees can drive later on, this latter phase of the lifecycle is still important for talent relationship management. Departing on less than amicable terms could result in bad reviews on platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Yelp, damaging the organization’s reputation.

Instead, extend that alumni program olive branch to ensure that the relationship going forward is mutually beneficial and rewarding.

Invest In People, Invest In Success

Successful organizations can thank their employees and relationships for their success, in part. Alumni programs have a part to play in this and can ensure that talent management is leveraged to achieve business and employee goals.

To learn more about how EnterpriseAlumni is enabling the world’s organizations to manage and engage their former employees to drive business outcomes, please get in touch.