By Ayo Ogunde, Strategy Director of Digital Innovation
Employee advocacy is an effective tool for promoting your organization through your employees. It also serves as a great way to boost your employer brand and attract candidates who want to hear from employees directly, giving the inside scoop on what it’s like to work for your organization.
PeopleScout’s recent research, Inside the Candidate Experience, found that 35% of organizations don’t feature their real employees on their career site. This is a problem since the number one obstacle for candidates in the application process is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization. The research also revealed that 86% of candidates value stories from employees and that it helps to influence their job search. In particular, 92% of Baby Boomers said it would influence their choice to join an organization. One third of women also agree that this is an important deciding factor.
One of the great things about leveraging your employees as brand advocates is that it brings the diversity of your people and culture to the forefront. By its very nature, employee advocacy in recruitment naturally encourages an increase in the team’s sense of belonging.
Getting Started with Employee Advocacy for Your Brand
Employee advocacy in recruitment could be an employee speaking at an industry panel or sharing user generated content (UGC) across social channels. This helps to boost the reach and engagement of your employer brand
We found that a third of employers do not post recruitment content to their social media at least once a week. Yet, two-thirds of candidates research potential employers through social media, so organizations are missing a trick.
Some employees may want to take part but don’t know where to start. To encourage employees, create a unique, engaging employee advocacy program that rewards participation and engagement.
Incentivize everyone to participate in their own unique ways. Some of your employer brand advocates will excel at content creation, while others will thrive representing your company as a conference speaker or through podcast opportunities, for example. Rewarding participation is a smart way to build momentum, especially when rewards can be redeemed against holidays, events, training, swag or other perks.
A successful employee advocacy program will include a lead who sets the strategy for content and topics to attract the kinds of talent you need. This also helps you control your organization’s overall content and brand messaging, while still giving employee advocate enough freedom to showcase their authentic personalities.
Plus, one of the key learnings we’ve found is that bringing your employees into the process early on creates buy-in and boosts personalization which goes a long way on social media.
Benefits of Employee Advocacy in Recruitment
There are many benefits to implementing an employee advocacy program, for both employees and for the organization.
- Empowered Employees: Employees who are empowered to act as advocates often feel a stronger connection to the company. They feel valued and integral to the company’s success, leading to a sense of belonging and increased job satisfaction. This empowerment directly correlates to higher engagement levels and improved retention rates.
- Organizational Transparency and Trust: Advocacy programs require a certain level of transparency from the organization’s side, which, in turn, helps to foster trust between employees and management. Employees who trust their employers are more likely to feel engaged and less likely to leave the organization.
- Career Development and Personal Branding: Employee advocacy programs can play a crucial role in personal branding and career development. As employees share their work and achievements, they are simultaneously enhancing their own professional reputation. This not only benefits the employees but also increases their attachment to the organization, nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Boost to Employee Morale: Advocacy can help to create a positive work culture. By encouraging employees to share their experiences and achievements, companies demonstrate that they value their employees’ work and contributions, which boosts morale and productivity.
- Improved Internal Communication: Employee advocacy programs can improve internal communication. As employees become more involved in advocacy, they often become better informed about the company’s goals, products and services. This improved understanding can lead to employees feeling more aligned with the company’s mission and objectives.
- Increased Brand Awareness: Beginning an employee advocacy program is a great way to organically increase the organization’s brand awareness reach. Utilising social media naturally generates opportunities to network, which can therefore drive leads, as the positive content posted by employees will be passively acknowledged by potential clients.
How to Leverage Employee Advocacy for Candidate Attraction
If you’re just starting out with your employee advocacy program, here are some tips to help you begin.
Use the Voice of Your People…Everywhere!
It’s magic, it’s authentic and it works.
Embrace Storytelling Through Employee Experiences
One of the most effective ways to manage perception and shift views is through authentic storytelling. Showcase real-life employee experiences, achievements and testimonials to highlight the positive aspects of your workplace. You can use a variety of content formats like videos, podcasts, blogs, and social media posts. This approach humanizes your brand and makes it easier for potential employees to imagine themselves in your company culture.
Promote Your Thought Leaders
Create and share thought-provoking content on industry trends, company values or insights on your work culture. This can position your brand as a leader and innovator in your industry. Feature your employees as subject matter experts, giving them a platform to share their knowledge and experiences. This not only enhances your company’s credibility but also provides an opportunity for your employees to build their personal brands, boosting their engagement and loyalty.
Try Interactive and Gamified Content to Boost Engagement
Create interactive content that allows potential candidates and current employees to engage directly with your brand. This could include webinars, live Q&A sessions, virtual tours of your workspace, or interactive quizzes about company culture. Gamified content also works well. for instance, an online game or challenge related to your company’s work, with the winners getting a chance to be featured on your company’s social media. This type of content not only makes your brand more memorable but also gives an insight into your company’s innovative and engaging work culture.
Measure and Keep Improving
Use social listening tools and analytics to monitor the success of your employee advocacy program for marketing and recruitment and to see how particular pieces of content are performing. This will help you focus your efforts on what’s working and give you valuable insight into what’s important to your talent audiences.