In an article published in Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business
The employment landscape as we know it has changed. For the larger part of the 20th century, both employers and employees were all about stability. Careers tended to follow a predictable path, with star players staying on the teams that launched them for the duration of their career.
However, this is no longer necessarily the case, and forward-thinking organizations recognize that it’s for the better.
Coauthors of the book, The Alliance – Managing Talent in the Networked Age, Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh, unpack a new, more realistic loyalty pact between employer and employee and the alliance framework under which it is built.
They label it a tour of duty and share why creating a corporate alumni network is integral in getting access to top talent and customer referrals, intelligence gathering, and brand ambassadorship.
The Alliance Framework: How Employers and Employees Benefit From An Alumni Pact
In an article published on LinkedIn, Hoffman shares insights from the book. His view is that alumni networks hold four major benefits to organizations, including:
1. New Avenues Leading to Top Talent
An alumni experience platform enables organizations to maintain a relationship with their former employees. This opens up the possibility to tap into boomerang hires in the future, which sees 6X ROI for recruiting programs.
After all, once your former team members have been on tours of duty beyond the confines of your business, they are uniquely suited to add value. They know how your business works and they’ve gained valuable experience elsewhere.
2. Fresh New Angles on Industry Matters
An alumni network gives businesses a network of consultants to draw key business insights from. The alliance framework includes the directive that former employees can be a useful contingent workforce that organizations can tap into.
This much-needed outside perspective can be invaluable in many ways and is why Chevron invests heavily in its alumni network, opening up the floor to former employees to act as consultants on future projects down the line.
3. Customer Referrals
When you keep bridges intact with former employees, incentive programs can open the floor for a rich vein of B2B and B2C customer referrals as they expand their network.
4. Long-term Brand Ambassadorship
In the digital age, your brand’s reputation is no longer under your control – people listen to people, and less to marketing campaigns. Alumni platforms can be used to leverage former employees to create buzz and boost credibility.
On the other end, what’s in it for former employees?
Career and personal growth. Continued relationships that drive them to achieve their goals and fulfill intrinsic and extrinsic needs. Company swag benefits they have come to love. The list goes on.
As a very telling example of how lucrative this type of alliance can be, he noted the example of PayPal alumni who went on to establish other innovative businesses. With varying degrees of input from their former colleagues, these ex-employees went on to establish majorly successful companies like Tesla, YouTube, and Yelp.
Hoffman goes on to say that it benefits the alumni themselves in equal measure, although they don’t always have access to an official network, and that’s where organizations are missing out. To illustrate his point, he references the 118,000 corporate alumni groups that exist on LinkedIn, mostly without any clear link to the former organizations themselves.
The Alumni Advantage Is Evident
To learn more, sign up for early access to the upcoming release of The Alumni Advantage, an end to end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees; authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni.