Alumni Value: Is it real?

by Community Admin in In The News   |    Last Edited: 23rd March 2019
Marketing cost and value matrix with pushpins  and blur effect. Concept of ROI or high value product.

Does an Alumni program actually deliver value?

A recent Quartz@Work survey highlighted four companies with Alumni programs and the value it is having on their organization, similar to the 2018 Corporate Alumni survey – the findings show that the relationship between Organizations and their prior employees is changing and they cannot afford not to invest in this talent community.

This continues the trend of highlighting organizations with Alumni networks who are successfully engaging and creating an impactful relationship between Employer and Former Employee. (Top 10 Corporate Alumni Networks).

As corporations redefine the traditional relationship between employers and employees and find new ways to invest in talent development, they’re also looking differently at the value of those they’ve already invested in.

-Oliver Staley

Boston Consulting Group:

BCG has calculated that when an alum is involved in a new client engagement with a guaranteed fee, it’s 40% more lucrative than projects without that connection, says Justin Manly, a managing director who heads BCG’s alumni program. To assure its 22,000 alumni they are valued, the firm lavishes them with perks and benefits, such as a free in-house headhunting service to match former employees with job opportunities. The firm will also arrange special events for like-minded alumni, such as a forum for chief strategy officers to talk shop.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell uses its successful alumni as role models for current workers, with the hope of reducing the high-employee turnover that plagues fast-food restaurants.

“We’re in a really competitive market for team members, and we want to let our current team members know that they’re important to us,” said Ferril Onyett, the HR executive who runs the program at Taco Bell.


At Microsoft, roughly 15% of its hires are “boomerang employees”—ex-employees who have returned, says Rich Kaplan, general manager of employee services. “I want them to come back and work here,” Kaplan says. “Maybe they went somewhere else because they thought the grass was greener on the other side, and they found out it was brown. But they only come back if you treat them with respect, and make sure they are fans and advocates.”

First Horizon

Embracing former employees represented a change in attitude about why people were leaving the bank.

“We have people who work for our company who have upward goals or sideways goals we can’t meet,” he said. “If you hire great people, they’re not all going to stay forever. We didn’t have a model or mindset for that.”

Oliver Staley covers companies, management, and careers at Quartz at Work.

Learn from more corporate alumni programs here