In a recent article for the Society for Human Resource Management, Assistant Professor at UBC Sauder School of Business Rebecca Paluch wrote that a corporate alumni program forms an important part of the new normal. According to this forward-thinking academic, it provides a cornerstone for brand advocacy, talent acquisition, business development, and more.
Ms. Paluch starts by sketching the job market as we know it today – no longer a place of static employment, but rather a dynamic space filled with highly driven professionals who are carving out their own career trajectories without feeling the need to burn bridges as they do so. Instead, they stay in touch and leverage their experience and connections to nurture mutually beneficial opportunities.
This is where an alumni program comes in. Platforms that allow ex-employees to stay informed and in touch with former employers and coworkers extend the employee experience beyond the exit interview. Naturally, this is quite pertinent in the post-COVID space, in which many professionals and companies have had to pivot due to rapidly changing market forces.
Changing Lanes – Why Employees No Longer ‘Stick’
According to Ms. Paluch, traditional employment models and talent management strategies are currently being impacted in various ways. Boomers are retiring at an accelerated pace, and younger generations simply don’t stay at a given company as long. The AI revolution is making some jobs null and void and creating spaces that require specialized skills in others.
At the same time, social media and employer review sites give job seekers valuable insight into company culture even before they step through the door. Not to mention the effect the pandemic has had on what we see and define as ‘teams’ and ‘workplaces’.
3 Ways That Corporate Alumni Programs Improve the Status Quo
A brand-new status quo calls for a brand-new approach to ex-employee relations. Corporate alumni programs make sense because:
1. Ex-Employees Can Become Brand Advocates
According to research conducted by Ms. Paluch at the ILR School at Cornell University, ex-employees who are engaged in an alumni program are 32% more likely to be brand advocates (i.e., recommend their prior employer’s goods or services to friends and family).
2. Alumni Can Bring in New Business
The same study showed that former employees who are connected to prior employers are also more likely to rope them in on new business deals in the future.
3. Jobseekers Talk Amongst Themselves
A decade or so ago, the only way to really know what it was like to work for a company was to go and work there yourself. After all, tenured employees are unlikely to spill the beans about toxic work environments or atrocious management styles.
These days, however, a highly coveted professional can simply look up company reviews or reach out to ex-employees to find out what to expect.
A corporate alumni program provides innovative businesses with a foolproof way to bolster their employer brand, acquire top-tier talent, and gain a competitive advantage in terms of business development. This type of investment should definitely be a consideration for any company that wants to hold its own as we navigate the new corporate normal.
For early access to The Alumni Advantage, sign up to the mailing list. Authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni, the book provides an end to end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees.