What Is Community Management & Why It Matters For Your Alumni Networkby Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni | Last Edited: 10th August 2022
Corporate alumni networks, powered by applications such as EnterpriseAlumni, are how organizations engage and continue a relationship with their prior employees. These companies recognize the significant investment they have made in the individuals and the value of maintaining a relationship with them as they continue their careers.
In large organizations, alumni networks are managed by a team of community managers whose sole purpose is to deliver value to the members, while supporting organizational goals.
You may be wondering what’s in it for the alumni, and why community management matters to the network?
The key pillars of an alumni network are attracting alumni to your platform, using your alumni as a source of rehires and referrals, and building organizational culture. This will show members that you value their feedback and are excited about their ongoing involvement in your organization.
Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
Five Pillars Of Alumni Community Management
1. Attract Alumni To Your Platform
FT reports that while many companies have official alumni community networks (the Citi Alumni and General Electric Alumni groups have more than 50,000 and 40,000 members, respectively), many more alumni groups operate privately on other platforms.
One of the most popular platforms where alumni gather is LinkedIn, which hosts over 118k separate corporate alumni groups. The vast majority of these groups have no affiliation whatsoever with their company.
This presents a problem for businesses that want to benefit from the many positives that come with corporate alumni communities, such as recruiting, sales, business development, and brand ambassadors.
When an employee resigns, alumni community managers have a chance to convert leavers into alumni on their platform and prevent them from going elsewhere. One way to manage this is through an effective onboarding strategy.
Alumni network software can be used to provide all the avenues to show potential members the value of joining the community – from shared resources and opportunities for networking to mentoring, feedback, and support in their ongoing career journey.
2. Network For Referrals And Resources
Alumni tend to continue working in the same industry, which can make them valuable assets to the organization when it comes to networking and making connections with clients, partners, suppliers, and other company stakeholders.
Provided with the right tools and ongoing management, they can be called upon to contribute valuable knowledge and resources that existing employees may not be able to provide.
3. Build Organizational Culture
According to The State Of The Global Workplace report, only 10% of employees are engaged at work.
This highlights the urgent need for companies to create a centralized platform that brings together former, current, contingent, and part-time employees from all areas they operate in.
This will allow them to cultivate a healthy and sustainable organizational culture. Managing this aspect of your alumni community by encouraging them to stay connected with each other fosters respect, transparency, and collaboration within a business.
4. Develop A Recruitment Pipeline
Your alumni community is an excellent source for identifying and engaging boomerang hires. They come pre-qualified with knowledge of the company and its culture and can hit the ground running.
Alumni are a credible source of information as they can provide information about the experience of working for your organization, and as such can advocate for your business when it comes to sourcing new recruits.
Hiring boomerangs makes a lot of financial sense to businesses. It reduces recruitment fees and training costs while increasing productivity.
5. Content Marketing And Social Media Engagement
Content marketing and engagement is one of an alumni manager’s most important roles. Whether it’s blogs, podcasts, industry research, events, or company news reports, the exposure and value of the content are central to the organization’s alumni management and marketing.
For one, it can reduce the pressure to engage in traditional marketing and advertising methods. It starts with the alumni community manager asking alumni to contribute to content via the network platform.
Then, as part of their marketing activities, alumni community managers curate and post this to their company’s social media platforms. Alumni who contributed to this content are likely to share it on their own platforms, for instance on LinkedIn. In doing so, they organically promote the alumni group and company.
Why Community Management Matters
Let’s take a look at companies that have invested in the management of their alumni community networks and how it has been beneficial to their organizations.
These two companies epitomize the sheer importance of having a strong global network and how it can positively impact both organizations and members alike.
One of the best ways to understand why community management matters to alumni is to look at one of the largest alumni communities – the Microsoft alumni, a member organization that represents over 48,000 alumni in 54 countries.
The community is made up of business and technology professionals, entrepreneurs, startup innovators, volunteers, nonprofit leaders, and lifelong learners. While independent from Microsoft Corp, the company actively supports the alumni community mission through benefits and program support.
The Microsoft Alumni community management includes the sharing of resources, providing opportunities to hire each other or volunteer together, and generally celebrating the achievements of others in the network.
While the parent company provides great employee perks, what the alumni members value most is staying connected to all the things they loved about working at the company. This, according to Microsoft alumni, includes the technology, the culture, and the people.
Another good example of effective alumni community management is Pearson, the British-owned education content and assessment company that manages its alumni network on the EnterpriseAlumni technology platform.
The company, which had suffered employee layoffs and business model challenges, launched its alumni program in an effort to improve its employee experience, bolster its brand reputation and help its former and current employees progress through learning.
The alumni managers host an alumni database, provide access to research and content, publish a job board, distribute a monthly newsletter, and facilitate both online and offline engagement and connection between alumni and existing employees.
Alumni community management is crucial because it allows organizations to leverage this important network to improve brand and culture advocacy and gather feedback on company initiatives and new products and services.
It is also a vital source of business intelligence backed by analytics and data that can be used to improve engagement on the platform and attract fresh talent.
The success of your alumni community management processes and strategy will be greatly bolstered by investing in an enterprise-grade alumni platform that allows managers to fulfill all their community goals.
Get in touch to learn more about how EnterpriseAlumni enables organizations from mid-sized companies to Fortune 50® enterprises to pave the way for alumni relationships that are mutually beneficial.