Job-hopping is the norm in the current economy. People no longer work for long years at one company; at least, most people don’t. However, the relationships people forge while working at a certain company can be harnessed for mutual benefit. In fact, as people switch jobs more often now, it makes even more sense for companies to invest in corporate alumni platforms. Keeping in touch with your former employees can be incredibly beneficial. Here’s how.
The Benefits of Investing in Corporate Alumni Platforms
A quick glance through Linkedin will show you corporate alumni groups run by former employees of Fortune 500 companies. The fact that people are running such communities indicates that they want to stay connected. When a company takes the initiative of building and maintaining a corporate alumni network, it can be a mutually beneficial two-way street for ex-employees and the brand.
1. Talent Acquisition
Through corporate alumni platforms, companies can convince ex-employees to return for another stint. These “boomerang” employees can add incredible value to a company. Since they have been away for a while, they can bring in an outsider’s perspective to a brand’s policies and strategies. At the same time, since they understand the company’s work culture and the larger vision, they will be better able to navigate changes in strategies without disturbing the work culture or the larger vision of the brand, too much.
Top brands are already reaping this benefit of running a strong corporate alumni network. Deloitte, which started its corporate alumni network in 2000, convinced 2,800 ex-employees to return for another stint in 2017. Similarly, Sodexo, the French multinational giant, hires a substantial number of ex-employees each year through its corporate alumni network.
The knowledge addition, combined with cost-savings on new hires, can be incredibly useful for organizations. Corporate alumni networks aren’t just fertile breeding grounds for hiring former employees. They can also be really useful for finding fresh candidates. Former employees can help spread the word about current openings and recommend candidates that might be a good fit for the organization. Since they understand the work culture of a place, their recommendations are more likely to be better suited.
2. Brand Advocacy
Other than recommending talent, former employees who feel like a part of a brand are much more likely to use its products and advocate it to their friends, family, and acquaintances. Corporate alumni platforms can be used to nurture relationships with former employees to turn them into brand advocates. When a former employee tweets about a company’s product, it is deemed as more objective, since they don’t have anything directly to gain from such recommendations.
3. Competitor Intelligence
Alumni can be a great source for gathering intelligible information about current products or services and new launches. For instance, they can be much more objective about new features that their former software company is contemplating adding to its flagship product. Current employees can suffer from a conflict of interest in such situations.
Moreover, alumni’s outsider perspective, together with insider knowledge, can give a company much-rounded feedback. A strong alumni network can also be tapped for industry trends, emerging technologies, customer feedback, and even competitive intelligence.
When running efficiently, corporate alumni platforms can be a treasure trove of intelligible data that can help a brand stay ahead of its competition.