What Is Corporate Alumni Engagement
Alumni Engagement is the active measure of how the way a business activates its alumni network to achieve its program or business goals.
It involves taking intentional actions that build mutually beneficial relationships, inspire brand loyalty, and ultimately contribute toward an organization’s business goals.
The strategy entails well-thought-out content creation and delivery that drives alumni community members to take specific actions.
Effective engagement is powered by a robust alumni platform that provides a range of tools and integrations to enable alumni to interact and communicate with the organization.
Engagement is managed by an Alumni Community Manager who, by actively nurturing these alumni relationships, ensures they contribute to a business’s success.
How To Engage Your Corporate Alumni
Changes in how we work have highlighted the need for business tech to put the user experience at the forefront of developments. In essence, businesses have to offer their corporate alumni an experience equal to customers.
1. Put The Alumni Needs First
Provide a tailored program experience that is uniquely relevant to each individual, based on interests, location, market segment, business unit, career level, etc. Research shows that alumni value having access to the deep knowledge, insights, and resources they had at their disposal at the organization.
2. Platform Integration Is Important
Users become fatigued and overwhelmed when they have to use multiple platforms to keep conversations, meetings, and networking going. App integrations to a single corporate alumni platform allow users to engage and manage their workflow more productively.
3. Give Them Unique Incentives
Sometimes referred to as perks, these benefits go beyond what is offered traditionally. They could include incentives provided to current employees, such as discounts, vacation packages, free development courses, personalized bucket-list experiences, and wellbeing programs.
Alumni often want to stay active in Affinity or ERG groups, including diversity, sustainability, or other community-led initiatives like volunteering.
4. Invite Them To Events
Corporate events, fireside chats, and organizational meet-ups are all significant drivers of corporate alumni engagement. Virtual events allow the Community Manager (CMGR) to bring large groups of people together, including attendees who don’t have to travel to a venue. It lowers costs and creates content that can be repurposed for other engagement opportunities.
5. Create Great Content
A continuous flow of fresh and relevant content delivered via different channels will guarantee engagement. This can be blog posts, videos, podcasts, webinars, social feeds, and newsletters.
Set up forums so your alumni can engage with each other around topics, thereby creating opportunities for the CMGR to curate and crowd-source new content.
The Benefits Of Engaging An Alumni Network
Saves On Recruiting Costs
By rehiring from your alumni pool, the business gets access to candidates it has already invested in. Plus, these alumni have gained knowledge and expertise that they can plow back into your organization. In their first three months back at work, re-hires are not only 40% more productive, but they also typically remain in the job longer.
Creates A Knowledge Network
Former employees can be excellent sources of ideas and intelligence, helping businesses understand new trends and technologies and identify investment opportunities. Companies cut external consulting costs and gain ready access to external resources that provide business insight and a trusted, professional perspective.
Builds Brand Awareness
When former employees comment on an organization, they are more likely to be regarded as objective and so carry more weight than comments from existing staff. Engaged alumni act as brand ambassadors by serving as a point of contact for other companies while strengthening organizations’ exposure and reputation.
A Source Of Referral Programs
Extending employee referral programs (ERPs) to include an organization’s alumni produces more hires and higher-quality candidates. Some companies offer alumni compensation for referrals who are hired, further benefiting the alumni directly.
The Key To Engagement: A Community Manager
If a platform has all the tools, but nobody’s using them to actively engage the network, alumni are unlikely to hang around. The CMGR has a critical role to play here. The person needs to focus on driving engagement and encouraging collaboration with other members by initiating interaction at a grassroots level.
By appointing an alumni community manager, organizations can make the most of their alumni network. This person or team supercharges engagement and helps chase alumni network goals such as:
- Open the lines of communication between organization and individual
- Manage the platform for optimum use
- Boost organizational culture
- Discover opportunities for other business departments
- Get feedback to improve the platform offering
- Manage the platform administration
- Provide a face for the program
CMGRs are responsible for alumni management strategies that include creativity and reliable streams of data. This is achieved through tasks such as the curation of content, social media engagement, event organization, and compilation of newsletters and notifications.