How Does Alumni Engagement Save Companies Time and Money?
It used to be the case that when employees left a company, they would bid farewell to their employer and this relationship would fizzle out. Today, leading companies recognize the importance of staying in touch with their former employees via a corporate alumni network. Just because a top employee decides to leave an organization, it does not mean this relationship must come to a grinding halt. Alumni are among a company's most effective means of external communication, and actively nurturing these relationships contributes immensely to a business's success. This article outlines four ways that companies benefit from implementing an active alumni engagement platform.
“The value proposition for the firm and the alumni is that we can be active, rather than passive. LinkedIn is essentially passive.”
-Alex Pease, Former Allen & Overy Alumni Network Chair
1. Save Money by Rehiring Former Employees
When employees leave an organization, they take with them a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise. With increasingly high turnover rates and associated expenses, businesses must seek ways to derive the most benefit from the investment made in their staff. A Gracechurch Consulting study found that more than 30% of respondents would consider being rehired by a former employer. Organizations benefit immensely from hiring their alumni, because these individuals
- Cost about 50% less to train and get up to speed,
- Are more likely to be loyal, long-term employees, and
- Are familiar with the organization's working culture and environment.
“U.S. businesses lose about $11 billion per year due to employee turnover.”
-The Bureau of National Affairs
2. Secure Qualified Alumni Referrals
Many companies find the process of locating and securing suitable candidates to be both challenging and time-consuming. According to a study conducted by Temkin Group, highly engaged employees are about five times more likely to suggest that a friend or relative apply for a position at their organization. If this engagement remains high once employees become alumni, companies benefit as they
- Leverage the professional networks of their alumni to attract strong candidates,
- Invest fewer resources in the recruitment process, and
- Secure employees who are statistically more likely to commit to a long career with the organization.
“Alumni referrals are 3-4 times more likely to be hired than non-alumni referrals.”
3. Enjoy Positive Brand Exposure
From applicant to employee to alumnus, an individual's opinion of an organization is much more important than many realize. Rather than investing heavily in marketing campaigns, leading companies increasingly see their alumni as an excellent source of positive advertisement. Comments made by former employees are likely to be objective and therefore carry more weight than those made by current staff. Actively engaged alumni act as brand ambassadors who
- Generate business-to-business leads by serving as a point of contact for other companies,
- Bring a wealth of new connections, and
- Strengthen organizations’ international exposure and reputation.
“Engaging alumni reflects well on our firm… It helps them become even better ambassadors.”
-Sean Brown, McKinsey & Company Global Alumni Relations Director
4. Establish a Knowledge Network
Both companies and alumni benefit from having a knowledge network to promote thought leadership. As alumni continue to advance in their careers and build upon their skill sets, companies can easily source these contacts to help shed light on projects, solve issues efficiently, and provide a unique perspective. Benefits of introducing a knowledge network include the fact that:
- Companies cut external consulting costs as they have established relationships with skilled alumni,
- Alumni have access to external resources who provide business insight, and
- Companies have access to a group of individuals who can provide a trusted, professional perspective.
Many of the world's most successful organizations are introducing alumni engagement software. They understand the importance of staying one step ahead of their competitors and recognize that having a formal alumni platform gives them a competitive edge. Click here to learn about IntraWorlds' alumni management software.