Selective companies often find themselves vying with competitors to attract top talent. One of the most important factors influencing a job seeker’s company choice is employer brand. In fact, Ben Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Employment Hero, asserts that 75% of job seekers consider employer brand “before even applying for a role.”
Engaging your employees as brand ambassadors to advocate for your company can be one of the most powerful methods in creating an authentic recruitment strategy that appeals to job candidates.
What is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is an employee who promotes a company’s employer brand to their personal networks, usually via social media. Not only is it important that your employee brand ambassadors have an established online presence across a variety of platforms, but it is also essential that their online conduct is aligned with your company values.
As representatives of your company, employee ambassadors increase awareness of your brand and offer your company an outlet for advertising open positions. As a result, companies can more effectively reach job seekers and experience a higher rate of applications from qualified job candidates.
Why Recruit Employees as Advocates?
Employers should recruit employees as advocates because job seekers view employees as an authentic and trustworthy source of insight into their company’s mission, values, and ethics.
Traditionally, brand ambassadors were “influencers” – usually a celebrity or an individual with significant name recognition – unaffiliated with the company they were paid to endorse (think George Clooney and Nespresso).
Stephanie Genin, Global Vice President of Enterprise Marketing at Hootsuite, explains that “brands are seeing value in influencer marketing because consumers are more influenced by an authentic, human communication than by corporate jargon.”
Not only do job seekers have more trust in perceived “normal” people, but the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 53% of all global audiences view employees as the most credible source of information when forming an opinion of a company. Another 78% agreed that “how a company treats its employees is one of the best indicators of its level of trustworthiness.”
Create an Employee Brand Ambassador Strategy
By establishing an effective employee brand ambassador strategy, your company can source a higher number of qualified applicants for open roles. However, at the core of any worthwhile employee brand ambassador program there is preparation and planning.
Before you launch, there are steps you can take to implement an employee brand ambassador strategy designed to optimize success.
Consider the following when developing your strategy.
Assess Your Employer Brand
Implementing an employee brand ambassador strategy is an opportunity to evaluate and understand your existing employer brand. Research your company’s workplace reputation on employee review sites, such as Glassdoor, and social media platforms. For real-time feedback and suggestions for improvement, you can hold focus groups or conduct an employee feedback survey to assess your existing workplace culture.
If it becomes evident your employees are unsatisfied with your company as an employer, this may be the place to start – by fostering a fun workplace environment and recognizing employee achievements – before recruiting ambassadors.
Alternatively, if your research indicates you’ve successfully established a positive company reputation, you can utilize this data to pinpoint your company’s strengths and identify themes for your ambassadors to highlight.
The value of an employee endorsement resides in their personal experience with the company and willingness to advocate on behalf of the brand. Accordingly, enlisting brand ambassadors on a volunteer basis is crucial to the authenticity at the crux of their endorsement.
Not only do candidates view employees as more trustworthy sources of information on an employer, but an authentic employee endorsement of your company as a workplace is one of the most impactful methods of verifying and reinforcing your desired employer reputation.
Provide your team with frequent updates on company news and employee achievements, along with tools to make social sharing simple. Encourage employees to take ownership of both personal and company accomplishments by highlighting their role in successes and output. When employees are invested in their work and recognized for their performance, they will be more inclined to share positive company news with their social networks.
Promote your Employer Brand
Once you are satisfied that your company has cultivated a workplace reputation you are proud of, you can effectively promote awareness of and reinforce your employer brand by mobilizing your employees as brand ambassadors.
By engaging your employees as a part of your recruitment marketing strategy, you will ultimately expand your talent pool and resonate with job seekers as they evaluate prospective roles and companies.
At Barometer, we measure employer brand as it’s represented on employee review sites, including Glassdoor and Indeed. You can take the first step towards positioning your company as a competitive employer in a crowded job market by understanding your employees’ experience of your workplace. Learn more!