You will probably be aware of the term ‘employer branding’ – the process of promoting a company, or an organization, as the employer of choice. It’s been a hot topic in the industry for the last few years but in 2017 we need to make way for a new beast, it’s the year of ‘employee advocacy’.
When searching for a job, candidates see no end of content published by HR Managers and marketing teams, a glossy overview of the company, which often leaves candidates questioning the contents validity. This year, smart HR teams will aim to get their employees on board with content creation. Research has shown that content featuring real employees (and ideally shared by those employees) results in a much higher click through rate than content solely posted by the in house marketing team.
If employees blog, tweet, post (or any way of getting the message out there via social media) this will increase the reach of a company dramatically. Posting to your current following may get you a few key impressions, but by asking every employee to share just one piece of content to their own networks can increase your content reach by an average of 500%+! Better yet their connections aren’t just a blanket audience – a high percentage will be living round the corner from your office and some may be ex-colleagues with the exact skill set you’re looking for! With the added benefit of being able to engage all of these people free!
The content doesn’t have to be challenging, staff can simply post images from the latest charity run or sharing ‘fruit Fridays’ in the office. The aim of employee advocacy is to give candidates that real life snapshot of what it’s like to work for you. Building trust in your brand through employee advocacy will begin to attract suitable candidates that fit both the technical areas of the role as well as the correct corporate fit! Going one step further you could involve your marketing teams in creating some ‘Day in the Life’ blogs – interviewing individuals in different sectors so candidates can find out more information from the specific role they are interested in.
Getting employee advocacy to work for you requires a bespoke strategy and time attributed to it at the start of the process. Encouraging existing employees to reengage in the business and to develop content can often require many unanswered emails for little success. One of the best ways employer brand specialists, JobHoller, found to attract engagement was to gamify the process. Setting up an incentive for staff will receive a much higher engagement rate. Prizes don’t even have to be elaborate; you may have a spare parking space going for a month or a small voucher, anything that will drive your employees to participate!
Companies like JobHoller offer an inclusive employer brand package that will manage your employee advocacy for you for a small fee. They’ve developed an innovative product ‘Hollering’ which pulls the process together to ensure maximised engagement from employees. If you’d like to find out how JobHoller can help kick start your 2017 employee advocacy, click the link here.
Hannah Ryle – Employer Brand Consultant