I finished reading The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh. I read this book after I heard a speech from LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman. In this book, the authors suggest that the old model of a lifelong job will no more work in the modern world of the competitive labor market. Free agents are no good either and instead, a third model is proposed called the alliance. In this model employer allies with the employee to transform the company’s future while the employee, in turn, transforms their career working for the company – a win-win situation. This mutually beneficial partnership between employer and employee has three components: tours of duty, employee networks, and corporate alumni relations.
Both employer and employee identify their goals and determine where they overlap. They then construct a “tour,” or finite term of employment, that helps them both grow. Tours can be introductory level or generic (Rotational), focused on a specific goal or outcome (Transactional), or lifelong (Foundational).
Employers benefit from the professional connections of employees in many different ways. Call it network intelligence. At LinkedIn and several other Silicon Valley companies, employees of all levels are encouraged to engage in networking activities, such as lunches and conferences. I personally attend many engineering meetups in Bay Area as well as LunchClub for networking.
An alumni network serves as a key benefit across the hiring process, employment, and post-employment. Alumni network programs allow for the concept of a “lifetime alliance” even after an employee leaves a company.