Alumni Relations for the Financial Services Sector

May 20, 2016
alumni relations The end of an employee’s tenure at a company doesn’t always mean the end of that firm’s relationship with said employee. Alumni programs make it possible to keep a mutually beneficial relationship going on after the cord has been cut.

Due to the specific skills needed to thrive in the Financial Services (FS) industry, retaining alumni connections is important. Keeping up with the career paths of an organizations’ alumni is just as important as discovering them in the first place. The kind of specialized skills necessary to succeed in the Financial services industry make every alumnus a valuable dormant asset, especially when considering the power in intellectual property. Alumni networks and corporate social networks (CSNs) focus on retaining that connection in a way that is beneficial to both parties.

As our EMEA Managing Director David Goggin said in a recent Financial Times interview, “The success of a network is all about engagement. Successful networks are in organizations that spend time understanding what their alumni are looking for."

Tech solutions offer the ability to facilitate an open relationship between alumni and former employee corporations, but here are a few benefits that an alumni network can have on a financial services company.

  • Keep track of rising stars in the industry.

    Say that an alumni gained a wealth of experience with your organization before moving on and becoming a rock star in the industry. Wouldn’t you like to keep track of that person’s growth for the benefit of the connection, if nothing else? Invite them to your alumni network and deliver the latest information. When inviting alumni make sure to stress the potential benefits of the program to them. Make sure to let them know how useful of a tool the network is when engaging with their former employer and in their industry at large. This tool can also be used for professional development, sales leads, references and introductions.

  • Engage regularly.

    In order to convince alumni to spend their time (which you are no longer paying for) on a CSN, alumni brand ambassadors must use the platforms themselves. This encourages usage throughout the ranks (see below) and provides content for the network to circulate. Share industry articles along with updates on the company to keep your network informed and up-to-date. Alumni benefits and events have a home on CSNs. These portals are also a way to keep track of alumni career paths. Down the line, an alumnus can more easily become an employee again by keeping up with their thoughts and accomplishments via these personalized social portals. As a brand ambassador, you’ll be a main source for the portals’ content cycle. Engage and watch your alumni network grow.

    “In providing and maintaining our alumni network, our main areas of focus are the ability of Alumni to stay connected with not only one another but also Credit Suisse as a firm. By engaging our Alumni, Credit Suisse has the ability to support re-hiring and business solicitation,” Markus Simon, Credit Suisse Head of Career Services Alumni Network, said.

  • Respond promptly.

    When was the last time in your adult life that unresponsiveness was an attractive trait? The easiest way to cultivate user engagement is to respond to content posted on the portal. By actively and promptly engaging with members of the alumni network you can encourage further usage. Each connection maintained represents another possible link down the line that could have numerous benefits for your organization. Like any other social network, CSNs are aimed at spurring a dialogue between members of the community. In the case of a CSN, that dialogue is based around apparent benefits both company side and with alumni.

  • Share relevant material.

    By making your alumni network the only portal by which this pertinent information will be shared, users are encouraged to engage. Due to the nature of compensation in the financial services sector, alumni are sometimes investors as well. By sharing company updates you keep them in the loop as a dormant talent resource and as an invested company interest.

    “Our alumni portal allows us to easily post content including news both manually and through external feeds (for example Jobs), send aesthetically pleasing mailings with ease to target audiences, run polls for alumni feedback, and advertise events and their photos,” Simon said.

    The health of any social network depends equally on the users and the content they share. By making sure you share relevant content with your alumni base you maintain current activity while forecasting future activity in the way of responses. For more information on the topic, or for questions regarding alumni software, vitis insala today.

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