9 Drivers that help you design a very good Corporate Alumni Program

Paresh Masade
Jun 13, 2019 · 4 min read

Most of the organizations today realize the importance of staying in touch with the former employees. As quoted by Reid Hoffman (Founder of Linkedin) in the article “Four reasons to invest in a corporate alumni network”, a company’s alumni can be a treasure trove of brand ambassadors, great rehires, potential referrals and a source of network intelligence. Establishing a well structured corporate alumni program is paramount in maintaining a great relationship with ex-employees.

We believe the following drivers help design a very good corporate alumni program:

1. Design at Organizational Level

A meaningful corporate alumni program needs to be an organizational level initiative driven by the company’s leadership and not just an HR or Employer Branding Initiative. It is very important for organizations to assign a dedicated person — “Alumni Relationship Manager”, who will not only create but also meticulously manage the entire program coordinating across streams like General HR, Payroll, Staffing and Business Development Teams. Deloitte is a great example of having regional alumni officers across the organization.

2. Amicable Exit Process

Attritions, both voluntary and involuntary are inevitable, and giving great experience during exits is crucial in designing a very good alumni program. Managers and HR Personnel at all levels shall need to be trained in handling employee exits in most amicable manner. Collecting honest feedback, well defined exit interviews and recording of reasons for exit are all necessary to identify most potential re-hires in future.

3. Tools to Stay in Touch

Designing a well defined alumni program requires following tools:

2. Communication tools like email blasts, monthly newsletters to keep alumni informed about company updates

3. Ability for alumni to search for current opportunities and apply or refer potential candidates

4. One-stop Exits Helpdesk to resolve all the alumni queries

5. Platform to keep the alumni engaged via discussions forums, special interest groups etc.

4. Keep the alumni engaged

Once alumni platform is set up, continual constructive engagement is imperative to keep the members active at all times. Few thoughts in which alumni can be engaged:

  • Stories about accomplished alumni: Interview accomplished alumni and share their success stories on the portal. Untold success stories not just makes for a good read but invariably acts as a morale booster to those who look for inspiration.
  • Share Company Updates: The online alumni platform is a great place to keep the alumni posted about the happenings at the company. Sharing regular company updates keep them abreast about the latest releases, product updates, recruitment drives etc.
  • Engage in Casual Conversations: Keep the alumni engaged in casual conversations. Start interesting discussions and encourage members to share their thoughts and opinions in response.
  • Run Surveys: Conduct surveys about new products, emerging trends, policies etc. and keep the former employees involved by making them participate in company’s initiatives

5. Organize Reunions

Organizing reunions regularly not only keeps the bond between the organization and its alumni alive but it also gives the employer an opportunity to discover ex-employees with improved skills and broader expertise. Make these events “sought-after” by incorporating meaningful activities and specific interest sessions that facilitates personal development and career advancement.

6. Invite alumni participation in company’s initiatives such as Product Launches, Provide Special Discounts

Invite and allow former employees at new product launches and give them discounts for both new and existing products. For example, Microsoft offers their products to alumni at employee pricing.

7. Create a Boomerang Program

While the interview process when hiring ex-employees can be similar to hiring anyone else, it would always be great to allow a direct channel for ex-employees wanting to re-apply for the company. Enabling it through an alumni portal would be a strong reason for alumni to signup on the platform.

8. Referral Program

Referrals are usually the best hires for any organization. While most of the companies have a very good internal referral program, they seldom reach out to alumni for referrals. Consider creating a rewards program for alumni who can provide great referrals. This would significantly reduce the cost of hiring.

9. Track Metrics

Designing metrics is very crucial to measure the success of the alumni program. While metrics like Monthly Active Users, Newsletter Open Rates, Attendance to re-unions provide a good sense of active alumni, engagement metrics like no. of referrals and rehires provide a great way to measure the direct ROI.

While there could be many other drivers, I believe these are a few critical ones. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Hope this note helps you build meaningful alumni relationships!

Further Reading:

  1. Adding Return-to-Work Programs to your Hiring Strategy — Akash Jain
  2. Four reasons to invest in a corporate alumni network — Reid Hoffman
  3. Why Companies Should Stay Connected with Ex-Employees

Vaave has been at the forefront of enabling meaningful alumni relations and been working of corporates like Qualcomm India, Hero Motocorp, KPIT Technologies and RPG Enterprises. For further details visit www.vaave.com

Originally Published on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/9-drivers-help-you-design-very-good-corporate-alumni-program-masade/


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