To attract the best talent in an increasingly competitive business environment, employee advocacy is becoming a critical component for HR and Talent Acquisition Directors. Andrew Seel, CEO, Qubist, a leading employee advocacy platform, discusses how companies can work with employees to reduce recruitment costs and drive up retention rates
The best people aren’t looking for jobs. So, recruiting top talent and accessing new talent pools is an increasing challenge for businesses, large and small, especially for companies that may not have the â€˜X-factor’ for candidates or that are perceived as dated. Tech roles are notoriously challenging to hire into, as is how to create a more diverse workforce and bring in more women to senior leadership roles.
To find the brightest minds externally, companies are now turning internally to work with their best influencers â€“ their own employees. **Employee advocacy empowers colleagues to share stories about the company they work for on their own social media channels**, distributing the employer brand effectively, bringing the EVP to life and driving relevant referrals.
When employees share content, they typically see a click-through rate double that of their company according to LinkedInOpens a new window .
For HR leaders considering their recruitment approach, the employee advocacy strategies below show how it is your own people who can inspire the business from within and give you a truly competitive advantage.
Empower employees to improve recruitment and reduce costs
Candidates are 40% more likely to put in an application if they are familiar with the company brand according to a recentÂ Glassdoor reportOpens a new window .
However, traditional methods of reaching candidates are no longer effective and are increasingly expensive. Advertising has been hit by a proliferation of ad blockers as people choose to experience ad-free environments, and ad costs are rising sharply â€“ average adwords CPC growth spiked to 14% in Q4 2017, according to MerkleOpens a new window .
To compound the difficulty of reaching top talent, â€˜passive candidates’ make up the majority of the workforce. In order to hire in the best talent, an employee advocacy programme offers an opportunity to present a vibrant, cosmopolitan and energetic workplace through the people who know your culture, products, and services the best.
Consider these statistics:
- Employees are significantly more trusted than CEOs according to theÂ Edelman Trust Barometer 2018.
- Brand messages are shared 24x more when distributed by employees and reach 561% further when shared by employees vs. the same messages shared via official brand social channels, according toÂ MSL Group
- Word of mouth is the best form of advertising with 84% of consumers trusting recommendations from friends and family, according toÂ NielsenOpens a new window .
By empowering employees through brand advocacy, your company is able to activate an authentic new marketing channel, which is highly personalized to the end user and creates real influence â€“ the ability to cause effect or change behavior.
Employee advocacy presents a real opportunity to foster a modern and innovative workplace with these key benefits:
- Drive relevant employee referrals from new talent pools in the long-term
- Attract a more diverse group of candidates to your company
- Reduce recruitment costs and drive up retention rates
- Make huge gains from a local, personalized and segmented recruitment approach
- Improved hiring cycle â€“ reduced interview to hire ratio time
- Greater success in employer brand distribution
- Drive sustainable business results
Use tech to scale, measure and report on employee advocacy success
For an employee advocacy programme to be successful, it is crucial organizations adopt a tech platform, which allows them to scale and measure their activity.
Although you may already have employees sharing organically â€“ and this is a good signal your company is ready for a formal employee advocacy platform â€“ a platform allows you to scale into the thousands across departments and regions. It also gives you the capacity to track results in real time easily, optimize activity and report effectively on ROI to shareholders for a successful and sustainable approach.
For companies that have a disparate workforce, an employee advocacy platform keeps all colleagues informed and empowered around the organization’s vision and values. Employees can access and choose relevant brand content to share on their social networks whenever is convenient bringing multiple commercial benefits to the business, including vastly improved talent acquisitionOpens a new window .
Start small and engage employees for sustainable results
An employee advocacy programme can start off with a pilot and a small number of advocates so that the team can test, learn and adapt its strategy before being rolled out across the whole organization.
New recruits can be welcomed and incentivized as part of the onboarding processOpens a new window and advocacy champions created internally to help develop the programme. Gamification can also be used to offer points, badges and rewards as incentives.
Research by Hinge found thatÂ almost 86% of advocatesÂ in some kind of formal program said that being involved has had a positive impact on their career.
**The right HR tech has the power to boost employee advocacy tremendously and make sure that it’s your people who give your organization its competitive advantage.**