If the Great Resignation is a challenge or a contest, organizations have known that there is no walkover. They have pulled all stops to tide over it. From offering alluring pay and perks to elevating employee experience with Flexi work options and condensed work days, companies have tried them all to acquire and retain the best talent. Yet, the conundrum called The Great Resignation does not abate. In 2021, a record 47 million workers in the US quit their jobs, a pointer to the considerable shake-up the wave of attrition has caused.
In India, the most profound impact of the Great Resignation has been on the technology companies. And having exhausted all options to stem the tide, they have now turned to their alumni pool to weather the crisis.
The likes of Wipro and HCL Technologies have dived into their alumni pool and rolled out post career-break programs for women. Smaller companies- KPIT Technologies and Happiest Minds too have leapt on the bandwagon, using social media and internal referral programs. Happiest Minds has seen the homecoming of 70 ex-employees over the past 12 months, validating the success of its alumni outreach programs.
To quote Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, there are four good reasons to invest in the corporate alumni network. A company's alumni can be a treasure trove of brand ambassadors, great rehires, potential referrals and a source of network intelligence. Call it the resounding effect of the Boomerang Employee campaign. The strategy to invest in your alumni network has its trade-offs. To win the insane attrition war in the short term and sign on the best brand ambassadors for the company in the long haul. This explains why top HR bosses in organizations such as Microsoft, BCG, Deloitte, PwC and McKinsey invest heavily in corporate alumni programmes.
Corporate alumni networks can be a valuable source of surplus business potential for companies in development. An alumni network is an effective way for a business to communicate with its customers, and cultivating these relationships is crucial to a business's success. For any organization, its alumni is the best bet as they are invested emotionally, aligned to the company culture and can fit in seamlessly.
To my mind, a meaningful alumni program needs to be driven by its top leadership instead of getting pigeonholed as an HR or employee branding initiative. Organizations can connect better with alumni by having an Alumni Relationship Manager. Deloitte is a great example of an organization with regional alumni officers across the organization.
Building a constructive engagement with your alumni can be immensely rewarding. But it needs your sweat and toil too. Starting a dedicated alumni portal where ex-employees can log in and update their profiles is the first effective step. This alumni interface can be populated with content on the success stories of former employees' latest events & happenings at your company, including product updates and recruitment drives, casual conversations and surveys on new products and emerging trends.
When the Great Resignation refuses to wean off anytime soon, companies can't wait to unlock the strength of their alumni networks. The winning strategy is to talk, connect, and engage your alumni cohorts to create a positive boomerang effect.