Out of Sight, Out of Mind? The Potential of Corporate Alumni

Many companies are left in a state of shock if a good employee quits their job. They must focus on refilling the position and find someone internally or externally with the capable skill set. While this may be time consuming and cause a bit of frustration in the interim, I would like to discuss the opportunities that arise after an employee has quit: The potential of Corporate Alumni Management. Universities are notorious for staying in touch with their alumni, yet only recently have a few businesses started to see the same opportunity that arises in communicating with former employees.  Email, social networks, and exclusive online platforms are widely used to keep alumni in tune with their alma mater or previous employer.

Why should enterprises care about corporate alumni?

Nowadays, more and more employees are willing to see what other opportunities are out there and start a new role with a different company. The ease of mobility, career development, or personal matters are a few common reasons why people embark on a new job. Younger generations are especially characteristic for switching companies more often, exploring their possibilities and venturing into different employers. Yet, just because a person has left the company does not mean you must end all communication with them. This is where the importance of maintaining communication with alumni comes into play. Companies with a corporate alumni platform in place have a competitive advantage in three prominent areas. Let’s take a look at the benefits of maintaining contact with alumni.

  1. Business development
  2. Re-hiring of top talent
  3. Harnessing a strong knowledge network

Let’s take a closer look:

  1. Suppose a former employee starts working for a potential customer. Could you think of a better contact to act as a referral when discussing business opportunities? Lots of management consultancy firms have recognized the potential in this and have started to engage with their alumni more and more in order to build a close personal relationship.
  2. Plus, who says your alumni will not rejoin your organization? According to a study, up to 40% of alumni would be suitable to return to their previous employer. In addition, they already have experience working in the company’s culture and are ambassadors for the company’s brand and values.
  3. No one knows your company better than your employees, past or present. When you stay in touch with alumni it may be possible to use their knowledge and apply their expertise in future projects.

In order to fully utilize your resources-your former employees- it is important to preserve an open relationship. There are several channels you may use to stay in touch with your alumni. Small companies may find emailing sufficient enough, yet for larger corporations, individually emailing each person requires too much time and investment. Alumni groups on social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook can only do so much when it comes to strategic corporate alumni relationship management. There is no control over company specific data, features, and design. For larger enterprises an exclusive alumni network is typically the best solution to engage with full flexibility. In a short video I would like to show you what this looks like. Have fun watching!