Corporate alumni networks are growing in importance as employees spend less and less time at a single company.
Mainstream employment is gradually giving way to a gig economy, where temporary or freelance positions and short-term contracts are rapidly becoming commonplace. Last year, millenials — those born between 1981 and 1997 — became the largest generational group in the US labour-force, according to the Pew Research Center. The demographic shift is helping create this broader employment model and a mobile generation where connectivity is key.
Tony Audino founded the Microsoft alumni network 20 years ago and is now chief executive and founder of Conenza, a company that builds and manages alumni networks. He sees companies facing a loyalty challenge as they compete for global talent. He believes an effective alumni network offers huge benefits to both the organisation and the alumni. An organisation’s former workers can act as promoters for its “talent brand as well as its overall corporate brand”, says Mr Audino.
Companies also can use alumni networks as a resource for recruiting former employees. Annabel Rake, chief marketing officer at Deloitte UK, refers to returning workers as “boomerangs”. “These are people who come back with a new set of skills and experiences that we find very beneficial,” she says. About 20 per cent of Deloitte’s hires each year are boomerangs. Returning employees are a proven benefit of the Credit Suisse alumni network, too, says Markus Simon, global head of the bank’s talent development shared services and online academy, as well as its alumni network. Like Deloitte, roughly 20 per cent of Credit Suisse recruits are rehires, he says. Companies can save money in recruiting using alumni networks. Further savings are made when an alumni network generates referrals of talent and business. (Read More...)