Investing in an Employee Alumni Network Pays Off

Just because an employee is no longer on your payroll doesn’t mean you can’t put him or her to work. Former employees provide numerous benefits to your organization as brand ambassadors, business partners, referral sources and—in some cases—potential rehires. Using cutting-edge HR technology to set up an active alumni network is the best way to turn these former employees into valuable assets for your organization.

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Breaking Down the Reasons for An Alumni Network

Investing in programs for your former employees isn’t just an excuse to wallow in nostalgia—it’s a way to accomplish some specific goals that will aid your organization in the long run, including:

  • Building your brand: The employees who left your organization on good terms (which you should have ensured with a good offboarding process) will doubtlessly rub shoulders with others in your industry with whom you’d like to leave a good impression. Keeping these former employees invested in the idea of having once belonged to your organization and feeling warm, fuzzy thoughts about it can turn them into some of your most authentic and passionate brand ambassadors.
  • Acquiring new quality hires: While the job market cycles through ups and downs, real talent is always difficult to find even when prospective employees are beating down your door. Having a cadre of trusted former employees funneling you quality prospective hires allows you to maintain an edge on the competition relying solely on compelling LinkedIn posts.
  • Finding experienced hires to fill difficult roles: Your alumni network can provide you with much-needed talent not only through referrals, but in the form of boomerang hires—that is, former employees who return to your organization. These employees already understand your organization’s culture and how to get things done, making them ideal for positions where you need someone to hit the ground running and start doing real work ASAP.

Why You’ll Need Help Setting Up Alumni Programs

Of course to reap the benefits of maintaining alumni programs, you have to implement them with efficiency and accountability—firing off a newsletter via an email blast to every former employee and hoping they’ll start talking up your organization isn’t a good game plan.

Just as you have specific reasons for investing in alumni programs, so too do your former employees have reasons for participating. Some of them will see these programs as opportunities for professionally networking, for instance, while others may be more drawn to programs promoting service and charity work. Some former employees may only want to read about your organization’s latest news in an email.

Getting a desirable return of investment on any of these alumni programs means putting in place the HR systems and operations allowing you to track metrics and convert employee alumni engagement into results that matter. Our team of consultants at Sibson excel at helping organizations build the processes needed for success, and are waiting to help you turn former employees into current assets.

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