What Any Organisation Can Learn From Great Alumni Programs

I just read an excellent article by John Sullivan about the power of corporate alumni programs. The title of the article is “Corporate Alumni and Boomerang Recruiting Programs Are Hot Due to Layoffs“.

I agree with the content of the article, but the title of the article should be “Corporate Alumni and Boomerang Recruiting Programs COULD BE Hot Due to Layoffs” because not many organisations give enough attention to them or understand the power of them.

The reasons why alumni programs can be so powerful is that it creates ambassadors. For example many people who have worked for a consulting company left that company to work somewhere else. If the “break up” happened in a positive and friendly atmosphere and if there are ways to keep in touch with them, these former employees could be formidable ambassadors.

This comes down to one of the fundamental principles that the real power of the network is in the second degree: here are many more opportunities in the network of your network (the second degree) than in your own network.

However, what many people and organisations forget is to give their first degree network the right input so they can spread the right message to their network.

In his article John Sullivan shares 14 factors that clearly differentiate great alumni programs from average ones. (And I also want to add to number 5 (Use Social Networks) to use a LinkedIn Group like I described in the Advanced Strategies for people who run a professional organisation in “How to REALLY use LinkedIn“)

Read the tips, even if you are not in charge of an alumni program since there are many great ideas for building a network of ambassadors for any profit and non-profit organisation in it.

Have a great networking week !


Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach and Speaker about Networking and Referrals


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