Organizational Alumni Programs Tap Into a Hidden Talent Pipeline, According to McLean & Company

McLean & Company, a leading global HR advisory firm, has published its newest research blueprint. “Design an Impactful Organizational Alumni Program” is intended to help HR leaders understand the importance of maintaining organizational alumni relationships and optimizing the alumni network to support strategic objectives, such as talent acquisition, brand management, and business development.The research from McLean & Company highlights that, with only 27% of exiting employees indicating they would strongly recommend their organization to others, many organizations are losing the chance to turn alumni into advocates who view them as a future potential place to work for themselves or for others in their network.According to McLean & Company, many organizations do not think of alumni talent — those who have left an organization — as part of the employee lifecycle, leading them to forego leveraging relationships with this group. This perpetuates the negative social stigma commonly associated with employee departures, which can result in gaps in organizational ability to support strategic objectives related to the talent pipeline, the employer brand, and business growth.

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The research has also found that while alumni often desire a connection with prior employers and are open to exploring mutual benefit through their unique relationship with the organization, companies can struggle to determine how best to incorporate alumni-focused programs and initiatives into the broader organizational structure.To assist HR leaders in designing a robust, centralized alumni program, McLean & Company’s newly released blueprint outlines three steps to create the alumni program that best fits their unique organizational needs:

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  1. Identify program purpose and select goals — This step identifies key stakeholders and target audiences, reviews strategic documents and organizational data, selects the program’s goals and metrics, determines the level of support provided to alumni through the program, and drafts a program budget.
  2. Design the program structure — Step two assigns stakeholder accountabilities, identifies current alumni interactions and the role of HR technology in the program, creates an alumni directory, collects data about needs and interests from alumni, assesses initiative feasibility and creates a shortlist, and prioritizes program initiatives.
  3. Prepare to implement the program — The third step identifies modifications required for existing HR programs, determines training needs for relevant stakeholders, creates a communication plan and alumni program calendar, and develops an action plan to support program implementation.Employee departures do not need to mean severed ties. Rather, an impactful alumni program creates a symbiotic relationship based on meaningful connections and serves to balance strategic objectives and alumni needs. To support HR leaders in their efforts to improve upon alumni relations within their companies, McLean & Company offers various levels of support and practical resources to best suit their unique and individual needs, including DIY Toolkits, Guided Implementations, Workshops, and Consulting.To learn more about McLean & Company or to download all the latest research, visit and connect via LinkedIn and Twitter.Media professionals are encouraged to register for McLean & Company’s Media Insiders program for more research and insights. This program provides unrestricted, on-demand access to HR, IT, and software industry content, as well as subject matter experts from a group of over 200 research analysts. To apply for access, contact

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