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Don't Close The Doors On Ex-Employees! Why Employee Alumni Programs Can Be Important For You

Gone are the days when employees who left the company were as good as blacklisted!

The workforce, today, is mainly comprised of the millennials - a generation known for ‘job-hopping’! However, it is no longer considered a stigma - since leaving an organisation is no longer considered as an opportunity lost. In fact, most companies prefer keeping in touch with their former employees.

The existing war for talent is one of the major reasons why ex-employees are now considered a valuable resource. One of the ways of keeping in touch with them is through corporate alumni networks.

Did you know that the alumni of Paypal are actually founders of big names like LinkedIn, YouTube, Tesla, Yammer, SpaceX?

Company Alumni Network

Establishing an alumni network is not so tough! You could either appoint one of your employees and entrust the responsibility of collating details of all ex-employees, spearheading programs and meetings, etc. You could also have a special group handling all alumni-related activities, such as conducting meetings, having events, creating alumni newsletters, etc. There are companies that manage all this for you too!

Let’s look at the many advantages of having an employee-alumni network!

Here’s Why Employee-Alumni Programs Are Beneficial For You!

Keeping in touch with your former employees through alumni programs has the following advantages:

1. “Boomerang” employees

What can be more beneficial to the HR team than getting former employees to join back the workforce!

They possess all the insider knowledge about the company process and culture so there is no need to train them excessively. They also come back more experienced and with a fresh perspective.

Rehiring costs are 50% cheaper than hiring a brand new employee. In addition, rehires prove more productive in their work and tend to stay longer.

Like they say, ‘a known devil is better than the unknown angel’. Having access to ex-employees makes the hiring process easy since you never know how a rookie employee you hire will turn out to be.

On the contrary, you possess at least some knowledge about ex-employees or references and can predict their suitability to a particular job role to some extent.

2. Referrals

Former employees act as referrals, making the hiring process a lot easier.

They are aware of company demands and work culture and use their knowledge to bring in candidates who fit the required profile better.

3. Source Of Valuable Information

Another important benefit is that the employee alumni networks can provide outsider information on effective business practices, hot business trends, competitive information and more.

Conducting polls through the alumni forum can provide you with a wealth of information regarding the top industry trends and rumors about emerging technologies. You can surely trust former employees better than some random people.

In fact, a popular fortune 100 technology company invites business plan proposals from its alumni network to gain insight on promising ideas and trends. You can leverage the expertise of former employees as potential market research sources.

4. Earn Potential Customers

You can never deny the benefits of word of mouth recommendations in business. Your employee alumni network can refer new customers or even possibly become a potential customer.

When employees move on, they also tend to move up the ladder and you can possibly connect with key prospects, decision-makers and influencers to win new customers. Tap into alumni data to identify former employees who are currently working at companies that you are considering for business.

Try introducing reward-based incentives in your alumni for new referrals and reap the benefits.

5. Increased Brand Awareness

A well-connected and loyal alumni can be used as a great medium to help you grow your talent brand. They can spread the word on social media advocating your brand as an outsider.

They could promote your marketing initiative or product on social media pages like Facebook, or Twitter.

With social media on the rise, negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor and others will strongly impact your company, especially if you have a poor exit strategy for employees.

Having a strong alumni network boost your goodwill as a company, and fortify your brand position and reputation.

6. Make Your Company A Great Place To Work

Of course, the better the work environment, the more employees stick to your company. But the hard truth is that there are a lot of companies and jobs out there that can be better than yours. So when an employee moves on, you should enable them to look back at your company and say “Wow. I miss working there, that was a great place to work.”

One way to ensure that your employees will cherish their experience of working with you is having an excellent reward and recognition program.

From hiring candidates to referrals, yielding intelligence and brand advocacy, the benefits of corporate alumni networks are immense. Rather than closing the door and saying goodbye once and for all, why not keep the door open for mutual benefit?

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