How are elite talent brands leveraging an alumni network effectively?
Establishing corporate alumni networks can greatly benefit companies seeking to attract the brightest and most talented candidates. If implemented correctly, corporate alumni networks can be used for recruiting, innovation and efficient employee offboarding. Though corporate alumni networks are gaining popularity, there is still a small percentage of firms who actually have established and notable alumni network programs. The most notable case studies of prominent and very active alumni networks come from Bain and Company, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, KPMG, McKinsey, and SAP. Reviews of their alumni networks prove that offering services such as continued education, training, and network events act as a great advertising technique when recruiting top talent.
Notable Benefits of Corporate Alumni Networks
Pierpoint, a globally recognized human resource outsourcing company, has recently addressed the benefits of creating a corporate alumni network. According to their report, an active alumni network can help businesses build brand loyalty, give organizations access to some of the most talented candidates, and advertising. Notably, easier talent attraction is the number one benefit in alumni networks. This is because former employees who are members of alumni networks tend to give good reviews of former employers and often refer qualified associates. Another possible benefit is increased clientele. In a Forbes article, Sean Brown, the global alumni director of McKinsey, reported gaining new clients through its alumni network. Other companies, including LinkedIn, have considered other benefits such as product innovation through product testing and easier employee offboarding due to the continued relationship with the former employee.
Of the companies who have alumni networks, there were six who were continuously mentioned in business and corporate publications. Those six companies were Bain and Company, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, KPMG, McKinsey, and SAP. Below is a thorough description of each organization's alumni network. Please note that SAP is the only tech company mentioned with a thriving alumni network. In an attempt to find additional tech companies, a search was conducted targeting competitive tech firms. Unfortunately, this search proved fruitless as a majority of these companies either did not have an active alumni network or the details of the alumni network were inaccessible.
1. Bain and Company
According to Bain and Company, its alumni network currently has more than 13,000 members. Members of Bain and Company's alumni have access to an array of benefits including career development programs, access to resources for recruiting the top talent, webinars, and an alumni directory. Alumni also enjoy hosted social and cocktail events. Additionally, Bain and Company boast that over 9,000 alumni belong to its private network on LinkedIn, which offers access to Bain and Company's IP where members can search for experts and job posts.
2. Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group claims to have 20,000 alumni members in its network. Each year, Boston Consulting Group hosts a Worldwide Alumni Day across 70 cities where members can network in person. The alumni program also offers its members access to thought leadership sessions, virtual training, counseling support, private alumni website, alumni directory, and a jobs database. As perks, members receive newsletters and access to Boston Consulting Group's social media groups.
Of the six organizations, Deloitte has one of the most comprehensive alumni programs. While the number of alumni members is not disclosed, the program offerings and perks are extensive comparable to the others. Deloitte's alumni program offers continued professional education (CPE) credits, hosted networking events, training, access to live webcasts called Dbriefs, a dedicated alumni relations site, and career development assistance. Perks of an alumni membership with Deloitte include a referral program where members get rewarded for referring top talent, newsletters, and discounts to over 32,000 merchants.
As with the previous agencies, KPMG offers an alumni program that offers member access to career development and networking events. According to the KPMG Alumni page, the program offers its alumni members CPE discounts and the KPMG institute which offers members a platform with members can exchange ideas. Perks for members include a referral program and a marketplace job board.
Alumni engagement is very important to the McKinsey organization. Each McKinsey branch has a dedicated Alumni Engagement specialists and the organization continuously invest in the program operations. McKinsey's alumni network have over 33,000 members and member stories are shared on its alumni webpage. Nearly 100 networking events are hosted by McKinsey annually. Other program offerings are similar to those of the previously discussed organizations. For instance, McKinsey also offers an alumni directory, job boards, a dedicated alumni website, and a profile board dedicated to sharing career goals and exchanging ideas.
Similar to Deloitte, SAP offers an array of membership benefits that focus on career development, networking, knowledge sharing, and training. SAP also offers discounts to select retailers. The full list of alumni services stated on their website include:
In summary, the case studies of Bain and Company, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, KPMG, McKinsey, and SAP suggests that a successful alumni program must offer career development opportunities, networking events, continued education or training, and networking platforms. Building a successful alumni network can help organizations attract new talent. Additionally, companies may see other benefits such as increased clientele, advertisement as a preferred employer, product innovation, and easier offboarding.