Alumni Definitions

Welcome to the AlumniEX glossary of Corporate Alumni definitions:

It’s your guide to the common terminology and acronyms that Community Managers and business heads use to describe and engage with the members of their Corporate Alumni networks. 

The word Alumni might make you think of graduates or former students of universities, schools, and colleges. But, the term has broadened to apply to the business context too. 

Alumni Definitions

Alumni, Alumnus, Alumna, Alumnae, Alum

Alumnus (masculine, plural alumni) or alumna (feminine, plural alumnae): single former member of a group or organization; past student of a school, college, or university

Alumni: plural of alumnus, but can also refer to a group of men and women graduates or former employees

Alumnae: plural of alumna

Alum: informal word for a former employee or student; shortening of an alumnus or alumna

Alumni Community

Alumni community: a group of former and current employees connected to each other and the organization via an alumni platform. Communities are nurtured to support an organization’s goals, and they span generations, career types and levels, geographic locations, and interests. Members range from former CEOs to interns, new hires to retirees.

Alumni Engagement

Alumni engagement: refers to the strategies and incentives a business creates to keep alumni active and participating in the community for the long term. It’s a measurement of how an organization engages its alumni to meet its objectives, and relates directly to its ability to drive alumni to take specific actions.

Alumni Engagement Metrics, Engagement Metrics

Alumni engagement metrics: measure how connected alumni are with an organization. Using alumni platform tools, engagement is tracked through participation, responses, and feedback. Based on the results, metrics help set tangible goals to pursue through outreach, strategies, and communication.

Alumni Experience

Alumni experience: how employees perceive the processes of leaving or joining an organization as well as their engagement on the alumni platform. It involves leveraging digital technology and personalization to improve interactions and better address alumni needs.

Alumni Network 

Corporate alumni networks: provide long-standing value to an organization, provided the business actively engages with and provides value to the people in the network. Networks connect employees, seasonal workers, contingent workers, freelancers, and contractors to one another and the organization. Also known as an alumni community. 

Alumni Platform

Corporate Alumni platform: is an agile, AI-driven application designed to manage and engage an alumni community. It includes features such as a user dashboard, alumni portal, powerful CRM, and integration to hundreds of applications that enable real-time synchronization, reporting, recruiting, automation, and business logic. 

Alumni Relations

Alumni relations: refers to the act of maintaining contact with corporate alumni, both physically and digitally. It is a PR exercise of sharing relevant information and providing personalized interactions to build strategic relationships.

Boomerangs, Boomerang Hires, Boomerang Employees, Come-back Employees 

Boomerang: an employee who leaves an organization, only to return and work for the company again at a later date. Boomerang hires recruited via alumni networks reduce recruiting costs and accelerate time-to-value. They also minimize risk and positively impact the employer brand. 

Community Manager, CMGR 

Alumni Community Manager: serves as the connection between the organization and its ex-employees and is the face of the alumni program. The person engages in relationship management and the execution of functions of the alumni platform, such as curation of content, engagement on social media, and event organization.

Contingent Workers

Contingent workers: workers who provide specific services to an organization but are not on the formal employee payroll. They are contractors, consultants, temp and seasonal workers, and advisers. As a community of qualified, verified, and skilled associates, contingent workers are valuable members of an organization’s alumni network.  

Corporate Alumni

Corporate alumni: the people who make up a business or company’s alumni community or network. They could be ex-employees, retirees, current employees, new recruits, interns, contingent workers, freelancers, contract, and seasonal workers.  

Corporate Alumni Best Practices

Corporate alumni best practices: involves reporting, measuring, and delivering a compelling suite of benefits to the alumni. Prioritizing quality interactions leads to active engagement that drives the value proposition between alumni and an organization.

Employee Experience 

Employee experience: an employee’s understanding, feelings, and experience of their time working with a business. Factors influencing this include co-workers, managers, company culture, career progression, work environment, and more. 

The employee experience starts the moment a person is hired and culminates when they move on from the organization. It’s an important journey to nurture and monitor as it impacts whether the person joins the organization’s alumni network, becomes a brand ambassador, and is open to continuing a mutually-beneficial working relationship. 

Employee Journey 

Employee journey: the important milestones, touchpoints, and events in the employee lifecycle that contribute to brand sentiment, employee retention, productivity, and engagement. It starts the moment a person applies to join a business and continues until they become alumni.

Exit Interview

Exit interview: an essential part of the offboarding process and an opportunity to present a clear value proposition for continued engagement through a corporate alumni program. The interview also provides organizations with valuable data on talent attraction and retention. 

Ex-employees, former employees

Ex-employees: people who resign from or leave an organization. Provided they leave on good terms, they become corporate alumni who can continue to contribute to networks that become rich organizational resources. 

HR Tech, HR Technology 

HR Tech: the software and associated hardware used to automate human resources functions in organizations. These include payroll, benefits, training, core employee management systems, and HRMS solutions. 

They also include work tech tools that help employees work more efficiently, and talent marketplace tools that support agile work environments and project-based work.


Offboarding process: an opportunity to transition exiting employees to loyal alumni who can become customers, suppliers, boomerang employees, mentors, and ambassadors for the organization. It requires acknowledging people’s input, mindful exit interviews, individualized support for the transition, and creating formal programs to keep a pulse on alumni.

Talent Relationship Management

Talent relationship management: a scope of proven HR strategies – ideas, systems, and technology –  that support a company in developing relationships with top talent. The process continues after offer acceptance and onboarding, and extends into retention strategies.

Total Workforce Management Strategy

Total workforce management strategy: acknowledges alumni as part of the talent conversation. It enables businesses to efficiently locate, source, engage and manage talent by merging human capital management (HCM) and contingent workforce management (CWM) into one productive unit.