‘Employee advocacy’ is a marketing tactic where employees promote their company as a great place to work in order to attract new candidates. You really can’t underestimate the power word-of-mouth marketing with stats like this: Companies that have an employee advocacy strategy in place are 58% more likely to attract and 20% more likely to retain top talent!
Here's some employee advocacy strategies you can start using to let current employees fill your vacancies with right-fit candidates.
1. Let previous candidates do the selling
Every time you place a candidate in a job they love, this is an instant opportunity to make more placements! Make sure you take advantage of this.
Candidates will always trust a current employee's opinion more than what you tell them as a recruiter, so it's a great idea to let happy candidates sell your next vacancy for you.
Video is a really effective way to do this. This can be as simple as asking a newly-placed candidate to tell the camera three things they love about working for their current employer, and you can then use this video in your candidate outreach.
If it's a brand new candidate, you could also get them to say something positive about their overall hiring experience as well as this is great marketing for you as the recruiter too – another reason to always provide your candidates with your best service possible!
2. Build social media awareness
By encouraging previous candidates to spread the word about their experiences on social media, you can publicly build your reputation as the recruiter to work with, while promoting your company as a great business to work for within the industry.
Employee advocacy on social media helps provide solid social proof that you're placing the right candidates in the right positions. Building a community of candidates who can shout about how you went that extra mile for them on social media is a sure-fire way of boosting your employer brand, your personal brand as a recruiter and potentially pull in some candidate referrals too!
Promoting your happy new hires across social media highlights that your company is a supportive place to work and how enjoyable the onboarding process is.
3. Make your employees want to promote your company
If your employees aren’t happy in their job, the likelihood of them actively promoting your business online is close to zero. It might sound obvious, but no matter how great your employee advocacy strategy is, if the business isn’t providing a good experience for its employees, you can forget it.
Creating a great company culture isn’t just about looking good on social media. It’s about showing appreciation towards the staff who make the cogs turn on a daily basis and creating a work environment where people actually enjoy coming to work in the morning.
As much as 69% of candidates won’t accept a job with a company that has a bad reputation, even if they are currently unemployed! Job seekers are big researchers and they will scope out an employer before even filling in an application form. Have you checked your Glassdoor reviews recently?
By ensuring your employees are happy, they will naturally become advocates of your brand (and you’ll also protect your brand from being tarnished online in the process!).
4. Gamify your employee advocacy process
Sometimes even the happiest employees still need a carrot on a stick for motivation!
Introducing in-house incentives for employees who bring in the most candidates, suggest the most creative method of attracting talent or get the highest engagement levels on their social media will motivate your staff to become your biggest marketers.
That said, not just any rewards will do. Choosing the right benefits that reflect your employees likes and interests will prove that you value them as people and not just a number within the company.
5. Turn your employees into micro-influencersAccording to a study by LinkedIn, company employee profiles have on average ten times more followers than company profiles. This is why identifying employees with a strong social media presence and incentivising them to promote your company will always be far more effective than promoting your employer brand on your company pages.
Candidates trust other candidates more than any form of employer branding you spend money on, so in this sense you should be thinking of your current employees as ‘micro-influencers’: every time they tell their social networks something positive about working at your company, they’re making an impact.
Socially engaged employees will help boost a company’s brand within their networks by sharing insights about what makes your company great with their connections. And if these insights are interesting or impressive enough, they’ll reach beyond their own networks and be shared amongst new online communities too.
A great employee advocacy strategy is one tool you can use to recruit for hard-to-fill jobs. Our eBook is filled with even more strategies to help you fill the jobs that no one else can, download it below:
Laura is an Email and Marketing Automation Specialist at Firefish. Since diving into marketing, she's been reeling readers in with great blogs and emails!