APRIL 2018 HR MAGAZINE 31
the adopters, followed by technology
companies like SAP and Dell. Nonprofits and mission-driven organizations,
including the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation and Junior Achievement
Worldwide, also rely heavily on them,
says Conenza CEO and founder Tony
Audino, who worked at Microsoft 20
years ago and helped that company develop its alumni network.
One of the primary drivers behind
the growth of these programs is the recognition that people switch jobs much
more frequently than they did in the
past. More than 20 percent of workers
change roles every year, Audino says.
Currently, about 10,000 Baby Boomers retire daily and Millennials move
to diferent positions every 2. 8 years,
on average. “That kind of disruption in
the workforce is only going to increase,”
Labor shifts are also leaving some
companies with a knowledge defcit
as their most senior employees exit. “A
lot of these alumni programs are an ef-
fort to close that gap” through rehiring,
professional development and coaching
opportunities, says Chris Hoyt, presi-
dent of CareerXroads, a talent acquisi-
tion consultancy in Hurst, Texas.
At the same time, technology is
reshaping industries across the
board, particularly when it comes
to building—and binding—
community. “There’s a lot of movement in
our alumni program, or any alumni
program for that matter,” says Jenn
Pedde, global manager of alumni and
community at global management
company Oliver Wyman in New York.
Indeed, keeping track of ex-employees
can be challenging, Pedde says. To
keep pace with Oliver Wyman’s 11,000
alumni, her team sends a monthly
pop-up message via its online news-
Company Number of Alumni Engagement Strategies
20,000 Offers its alumni virtual training, access to BCG experts, a quarterly
newsletter, a dedicated website, LinkedIn and Facebook networking
groups, and regular one-on-one interviews. The company uses social
media networks to promote special events such as a recent Facebook
Live chat featuring a current employee and an alum.
Deloitte 300,000 globally Provides alums with a range of networking opportunities, publishes
a newsletter, offers training sessions on resume writing and digital
interviewing, and shares profiles of successful alumni.
Microsoft 36,000 in 50 countries Allows former staffers to shop at the company store in Redmond, Wash.,
and receive discounts at Microsoft retail stores and from the company’s
partners and alumni-owned businesses.
Oliver Wyman 11,000 Hosts more than 70 alumni events a year, ranging from happy hours to
conferences to a charity auction. Each office has an alumni partner who
helps plan activities.
Sodexo 9,000 Has a branded alumni network called Reconnexions, which is central-
COMPANIES THAT SHOW ALUMNI THEY CARE
ized under the company’s talent acquisition division. Within 30 days of
leaving, an employee receives an e-mail invitation asking him or her to
join the network. A careers microsite is accessible to alums who want to
track career opportunities, and former employees who have returned to
the company are featured in its publications.
The size and structure of alumni programs can vary by industry, size of company and even eligibility
requirements. Here’s a sample of what employers are doing to keep alumni informed and engaged: