Article: 'Old bonds': How building alumni networks helps business growth

Employee Engagement

'Old bonds': How building alumni networks helps business growth

Nurturing the alumni talent network is a great way to recover the lost human capital amid the “The Great Resignation” phenomenon, says Shalini Nair Kumar, head of people and culture, India and Asia Pacific, Amadeus.
'Old bonds': How building alumni networks helps business growth

Building a strong connection with alumni is very important as it benefits an organisation in multiple ways.

From exchanging expertise on industry trends that help the organisation maintain a competitive advantage to paving the way for new business opportunities, a thriving alumni network contributes directly to business success.

In an interaction with People Matters, Shalini Nair Kumar, head of people and culture, India and Asia Pacific, Amadeus, the technology provider for travel industry, shares insights into how an alumni network can benefit businesses and how companies can build and maintain such networks.

Why will building an alumni network benefit your business?

Former employees are more likely to become brand ambassadors and customers, which enhances the employer's brand.

Their knowledge of the business, company culture, and customer needs allow organisations the choice to deploy highly skilled former employees as consultants to tackle mission-critical projects. These niche skills can also be leveraged to build effective mentoring programmes for current employees and create a more positive work environment.

Nurturing the alumni talent network is a great way to recover the lost human capital amid the “The Great Resignation” phenomenon.

Former employees facilitate access to quality hire referrals, reducing the need for background checks and saving hours and costs spent on recruiting overhead. Additionally, the past familiarity and knowledge about the organisation make rehiring from an alumni network valuable for the organisation.

At Amadeus, we are focused on renewing old ties and relationships with our former employees built through years of collaboration. We strongly believe that our alumni employees played a vital role in making Amadeus Labs what it is today and that their valuable expertise can help us in our mission to renew travel.

How can companies build and maintain a corporate alumni network?

The acceleration of The Great Resignation phenomenon in the ever-growing competitive landscape has resulted in companies recognising the potential benefits of alumni involvement.

There is growing interest in developing tailored corporate alumni programmes, aligned with the business strategy to continue building strong connections with former employees. These programmes facilitate several essential resources and knowledge flows that encourage engagement.

Organisations must introduce the alum programme to employees early during recruitment and onboarding. Apart from active communication on social platforms, including lucrative rewards such as providing continued access to the organisation’s professional training sessions, employee perks, company discounts, and opening the doors to involvement in the organisation’s CSR and social impact initiatives, encourage continued alumni engagement.

Further, creating a knowledge-sharing network that provides targeted and exciting information is crucial to maintain active communication. While engaging with alumni, it is essential for companies to build personalised experiences through customised content per each employee’s role and skillset.

Delivering relevant organisational updates via newsletters, videos, webinars, blog posts, and social media feeds adds value to the communication strategy. Additionally, organising events that include alumni involvement encourages personal connections and engagement with the programme, enabling lasting relationships.

How can building an alumni talent pool strengthen your employment brand?

The talent competition is more intensive and increasingly globalised with the changes in the workforce expectations. This has made it imperative for companies to develop critical strategies to differentiate themselves. 'Employer branding' has emerged as an indispensable strategy, and employers are putting their best foot forward to attract top talent.

Modern job seekers today lean towards former employees' experience in the organisation when they decide to apply for a job or accept an offer. Specific messaging from alumni can do wonders for the company's employment branding as it helps showcase the organisation's visions, values, strategies, and culture.

Corporate alums can make great brand ambassadors and provide value through positive word-of-mouth marketing not only to talent but clients and potential partnerships as well. By fostering a committed talent pool of former employees, organisations can be confident in alumni's contribution to the organisation's well-being as advocates and brand ambassadors.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Strategic HR, Employee Relations

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