In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, authors Everett
Multinational investment bank and financial services corporation Citigroup Inc., also known as Citi, has a stellar reputation when it comes to matters of corporate diversity. However, this is not something that happens overnight. Citi’s most recent talent and diversity annual report sheds some light on their processes, and it turns out their alumni network plays an instrumental role in supporting their efforts.
The Citi Alumni Network comprises 26,000+ former employees in 100+ countries around the world. The company created the platform to allow ex-employees to stay connected with their fellow alumni and the business.
Citi alumni have access to benefits such as museum passes, discount vouchers, tickets to sports events, and a rich source of Citi-related news and research. The platform also allows alumni to find out about job opportunities at the company and join in on volunteering and other non-profit events.
How Citi’s Alumni Network Factors Into Corporate Diversity Goals
Talent Acquisition and Hiring A Diverse Workforce
Citi realizes that a diverse and inclusive workforce improves performance, boosts innovation, and supercharges employee engagement. This is why they actively seek to address issues of gender, race, and equal pay for equal work throughout their enterprise.
To breed an atmosphere of accountability and credibility, they focus on increased transparency to bolster change inside the company, and out. In addition, they are using data to identify workplace challenges, as well as areas of opportunity. They also have firm representational goals in place to guide hiring and internal promotion.
In a bid to improve the way they approach talent acquisition and retention, Citi has been placing a strong focus on training managers to look beyond the obvious sources of suitable candidates.
To ensure that diversity and inclusion remain front and center at all times, team leaders are encouraged to consider existing talent when interviewing for vacant positions so the pipeline for minority lateral hires is increased. Internal referrals are also bolstered by input from the Citi alumni network.
Because former Citi employees understand the company culture, they are far more likely to know whether a prospective candidate would be a good fit. This is not to say that conventional recruitment routes are not explored, but alumni referrals carry a lot of weight due to the success rate thereof.
Marketing A Mentorship Program Focused On Sustainable Business Development
As a tool for employee retention, as well as for professional and personal development, Citi employees including alumni, can contribute to the communities where they live and work by volunteering.
Recently, one of the select programs for alumni to participate in was One Young World. The program saw business leaders connecting with the next generation of social entrepreneurs in a six-month long mentorship program. As part of Citi’s efforts around Sustainable Development Goals, alumni were tasked with convening a panel of executives to drive awareness for the campaign.
By placing a strong focus on the development and maintenance of their alumni network, innovative companies like Citi can leverage the reach and influence of ex-employees to promote corporate diversity within their enterprises. Read the full 2019 talent and diversity annual report here.