Using Alumni Networks to Your Advantage
June 4, 2018
Folks, the modern job market has changed. The employees of 2018 switch up their jobs more often than in the past (and that’s a gross understatement of the situation). Corporate alumni networks therefore are becoming increasingly important. Alumni networks help to maintain relationships between an organization and its former team members, promote a positive image of the company, and create sources for hires via trusted referrals. In summary, alumni networks are essential in the corporate world irregardless of the high rates of turnover of certain job roles.
Why Do Networks Matter?
Alumni networks lead to increased brand loyalty and foster important social connections between individuals and an organization. These networks can be used as a hiring tool. It makes it easy and efficient for former colleagues to suggest new hires to their former coworkers. Since they are well versed in the office’s culture and requirements, they will be able to refer fit candidates. This key step will save recruiters plenty of time reviewing candidates that are not a strong cultural or skill set fit. Alumni networks have another hidden asset: they provide an effective off ramp for employees and maintain a smooth level of transition, according to the experts at Pierpoint.
The Pillars of Alumni Networks
When HR leaders communicate to a former employee the benefits of continuing a professional relationship with a company, they accomplish several key objectives. In addition to fostering a healthy relationship, they keep the door open to collect essential information such as an employee’s reasons for changing jobs, perception about the employer’s brand, and preferred method of contact. HR professionals must present this informational exchange as a “Two-Way Value Proposition”
If a company expects its alumni to stay in touch and provide updates on their professional lives, they need to offer them an incentive. This could translate to opportunities for networking and access to valuable communication channels via the former employer.
In order for this relationship to thrive, companies need to tailor their communications to their former employees. Emails, social media campaigns, and written notes all must be personalized. Additionally, the content must be engaging, specific, and relevant to the alumni’s current interests.
Successful Alumni Groups Can Be Found Here…
Boston Consulting Group
This supersized company has a robust alumni website and online directory for content, headlines, and networking as well as a jobs database and career counseling services. Furthermore, Boston Consulting employees, who are considering vacating their role, can collaborate with executives to help them negotiate contracts with new employers (while still working for BCG).
Deloitte publicly extols its former employees’ successful ventures (through snappy profiles), shares job opportunities, and provides ongoing career development services. An extra perk is that corporate alumni can receive generous bonuses when they refer successful candidates.
McKinsey & Company
McKinsey offers former employees a member-only platform that focuses on building a global network of former consultants. The group is united by their shared interests and desire to serve current clients’ needs. The company also prides themselves on providing continuous professional development.
Alumni networks are a invaluable tool to build into a company. As these examples show, networks breed success, improve employer branding, increase new hire referrals, and celebrate employee departures. An employee’s exit from a team should not be viewed as a severance of ties but rather as an opportunity to evolve the relationship that is already created there.
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