Every year, your association loses some members. But why do they go away? What makes them different from members who stay? How can you win back lost members and keep others from heading out the door?
A recent association industry study suggests that an online job board and career center can help with member retention.
What lapsed members want
The 2021 Association Trends Study by Community Brands shows that lapsed members of professional organizations who responded to the study’s survey are under-employed and in more junior roles versus current members in the study.
Compared with current members, lapsed members in the study also place significantly higher value on job opportunities and help with career advancement.
Giving your members more of the value they seek
These findings suggest an opportunity for your association to improve member retention by giving members more of the value they seek through your career center resources.
Here are some tips to help your members achieve their career goals:
1. Provide an online job board.
At a minimum, offer an online job board for your industry. Doing so gives your members they value and help they need, including the ability to easily search and apply for relevant internships and job opportunities.
2. Take your association’s online job board to the next level.
To take your online job board further, provide your members with career resources to help them land the job and grow their careers:
- Résumé review – Offer free résumé critique through your online career center.
- Job seeker articles, tips, and recommendations – Offer articles and other content including résumé writing tips, interview techniques, job search ideas, and tips on social networking.
- Career coaching – Connect members with certified career coaches to help with things like job search strategies, interview tips, and résumé writing.
- Professional education – Use your career center to promote your association’s online learning courses and credentials. For example, recommend relevant learning courses that will make your members more qualified for the jobs they seek.
- Career pathing tool – Give your members a roadmap to reach their professional goals. Providing your members with a clear way to map out and achieve their career path delivers multiple benefits to your members:
- Confidence – They can plan the next step in their careers with the confidence that it will help them reach their ultimate career goal.
- Self-assessment – Using the descriptions of each role in their career path as well as the list of key skills needed to be successful in each role, members can evaluate their skills along the way, determining what professional education and experience they need to move forward.
- Tailored action plan – Members can design their own, personalized career action plan, including learning, training, and experience required to reach their career goal.
3. Offer virtual career advancement events.
Help your job-seeking members by connecting them with employers and career advancement opportunities at virtual career advancement events. For example:
- Virtual career events – Virtual career fairs offer a convenient, low-cost alternative for job-seeking members to network and engage with employers when attending onsite events isn’t possible due to budget, schedule, health concerns, or other circumstances. You can offer these types of virtual events through your online career center.
- Virtual networking event – Invite members to connect after hours in a casual online setting by hosting events that can be run by region, job specialty, or other themes. These events can also be mobile-optimized so attendees can log on from anywhere in the world.
- Online learning event – Host a topic-focused event that’s relevant to your industry or profession. This type of event can help you provide members with ways to develop their careers by gaining industry knowledge.
YM Careers by Community Brands provides associations with job board software and career center solutions like the ones in this article to help you deliver more of the career advancement benefits members seek.