John DealAugust 3, 2023
Topics: Employee Experience

Why You Need Corporate Alumni Software

I have had a couple of terrible alumni experiences.

The first was in college, where it was my job to reach out via cold call to former students and ask them to donate money. Typically, this resulted in the exalted alumni of our prestigious university asking if I knew how much tuition they had paid or just launching into a litany of expletives.

But, throughout the course of those phone calls, I learned a lot about how alumni experiences could be better. I also thought about how university alumni programs can be used in a business environment because just like college graduates, past employees all have one thing in common — they all worked at the same institution. 

If a business leveraged a dedicated corporate alumni software to create a formal program that engaged top performers even after they’ve left, you could cut out cold calling — and all the unpleasant experiences that come with it — while creating more genuine relationships with former employees. 

At Phenom, we’ve learned a lot about how to roll out an alumni program and the benefits you can reap from taking a more formal approach to alumni networking. Let’s get into how corporate alumni software can become an invaluable resource for former employees and for your talent acquisition team. 

Benefits of Implementing Corporate Alumni Software 

The market over the past few years has been a strange one, moving from the Great Resignation to the Great Regret. A lot of organizations lured folks away with promises of high salary, advancement opportunities, and equity, to name a few. 

After the threat of recession loomed — and a lot of highly-funded companies failed to realize the goals their valuation demanded — some of those promises dried up and left people with a bad taste in their mouths. 

This is where corporate alumni software and technology become essential. By staying engaged with previous employees that left your organization on good terms, you can keep the door open for boomerang opportunities, streamlining how quickly past employees become current employees again. 

Related: Return of the Boomerang Employee

Bringing them back into your organization keeps your hiring and training costs down, and showcases that your business is there to support them on their unique career journey — whatever it may look like.

Even if an employee leaves without the desire to return, they also hold the key that unlocks valuable networks that can lead to high-quality referrals (and you don’t want to lose this value when they walk out the door).

Referrals can save you thousands of dollars in your hiring budget, and those who get onboarded tend to stay with an organization twice as long on average. A flexible corporate alumni software solution will allow you to capture these referrals and easily celebrate your alumni for connecting you with high-quality talent. 

For people that leave the company due to a reduction in force, use your program to ensure they have access to current alumni so they can quickly find their next job. The right tool can also be used to share other resources relevant to bridging the gap between positions and gives these former employees a safe space to ask questions in an informal, yet professional environment. 

The benefits are clear and compelling, but what are your next steps to get a valuable alumni program off the ground? And what are the specific features you should look for in corporate alumni management software to make administration and engagement easy? Keep reading to find out. 

3 Must-Have Corporate Alumni Software Features

Here are three important features that your corporate alumni management software needs to create a compelling program.

1. Flexible Registration Options

Before we dive into the features, here’s a tip to make launching your corporate alumni program simpler: 

Use your CRM to send out an internal campaign and ask everyone to make sure they’ve updated their profile in the talent marketplace. Updated profiles makes fostering short- and long-term engagement easier, but we’ll get into that later. 

Once existing employee profiles are up to date, you need to make it easy for former employees to join the program. This can be simplified by embedding automated registration forms into your offboarding processes to capture contact information as an employee exits the organization. 

Another way to capture interested individuals is to create a dedicated landing page for your program through your corporate alumni tech. This dedicated page gives you the opportunity to direct people from your corporate career site with ease so they can learn more about the program, browse resources, and fill out a registration form. 

On the backend, your software should integrate with your HCM, ensuring exit dates and any additional context surrounding the employee’s reason for leaving are available for AI to parse. 

Once an individual expresses interest in joining your network, the tool should streamline the approval process by giving you the option to automatically approve based on verification of previous employment information or put registrants in an approval queue that gets reviewed by one or more administrators. 

Pro tip: Leverage one Content Management System (CMS) for all your internal and external career sites to streamline marketing efforts before and after candidates become employees! 

2. Private Community

Although alumni networks tend to take on various appearances, having a private community for alum to connect is a key component that allows both participants and your organization to maximize the benefits of your alumni program. 

If your alumni program today is just a section of your corporate career site that includes the date of the next happy hour, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to have conversations with your alum, or share resources that you might want to reserve for their eyes only. 

If your program is only a mailing list, then you’re missing out on the ability to create a community of brand ambassadors that can be a valuable extension of your marketing efforts. 

Use corporate alumni software to deliver a private community where program participants can log in and access personalized resources, job recommendations, and easily network with other alumni. This creates a more engaging experience for your alum, in turn maximizing the value of your network.

3. Easy to Refer, Easy to Apply

Yes, easy is a theme. You’re always looking for ways to make the candidate experience frictionless on your career site, and it’s important to bring that same effort to your alumni experience. 

Corporate alumni management software provides you with simple registration processes to get your former employees engaged in a private community — and once they’re in there, streamlines next steps so they can take action. 

This dedicated community should also provide the ability to present a different application process to your alumni than to candidates visiting your external career site. You already know a lot about your former employees, so you can skip all the screening questionnaires or videos. Deliver great experiences by making it easier for boomerang employees to apply to open roles. 

And if the position isn’t a great fit for them, make it really easy for them to just click a button to refer a friend or former colleague. Corporate alumni software will also allow them to track the progress of their referral, and lets you track the source of the referral to thank or reward your alumni for their help.

Related: How Kuehne+Nagel Is Making Faster Quality Hires With Phenom Referrals

But Why Corporate Alumni Software?

That heading is for my Zoolander fans, but I will take the opportunity to recap the value of choosing dedicated corporate alumni management software over a mailing list, public career site page, or even LinkedIn and Facebook groups. 

Dedicated software gives you the ability to create a private community with flexible registration options, allowing you to create a more personalized experience for former employees, share targeted resources, and encourage them to refer colleagues or even boomerang back into your organization in the future. 

Through technology such as Phenom Alumni Network, you can unlock numerous valuable features that take your alumni program to the next level, including comprehensive profiles, workflow automations based on customizable criteria, conditional outreach opportunities, and much more. 

To take a deeper dive into the Phenom Alumni Network and what it can do for your business, book a personalized demo with our team today

John Deal

John is a product manager whose goal is to package Phenom's employee-centric culture into a solution that can be used by other organizations. He enjoys horror novels and running—mostly from age.

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