Why Employee Advocacy Programs Are the Future of Recruitment
Imagine having access to a pool of qualified, passionate, and driven individuals already attuned to your company culture, goals, and values.
Welcome to the world of employee advocacy, a game-changing strategy transforming the recruitment landscape.
This article will:
- Explore why employee advocacy programs are the next big thing for attracting and recruiting employees.
- Reveal how to effectively implement one in your organization.
Whether you're an HR veteran, a team leader, or an employee experience expert, get ready to see recruitment through a whole new lens.
🕵️♀️ What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its staff members, who share their positive work experiences and the benefits of your products or services through their own social networks, both online and offline.
This could be through social media, word of mouth, emails, or any other communication method.
An employee advocate generates positive exposure and raises awareness for the brand, essentially serving as a brand ambassador. This type of advocacy is seen as authentic and trusted by people outside the organization, making it a valuable recruiting and hr marketing strategy.
What is an employee advocacy program?
An employee advocacy program is a strategic approach by organizations that encourages their employees to support and promote the company's brand, values, products, or services, often through their personal social media networks.
The concept is based on the idea that employees can be some of a company's most credible and influential advocates. They have firsthand knowledge of the organization, its culture, and its offerings, which can make their endorsements more authentic and trustworthy to their connections, including friends, family, and professional contacts.
After all, 84% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know over any other form of advertising. So, it only makes sense to look for employee insights when seeking a new employer.
For example, imagine a tech company that develops video games. To boost their company brand, they might encourage their employees to share screenshots of the game they're working on and briefly describe their role in the project. This not only showcases the company's work but also highlights the talents of its employees.
💡 8 Best practices for implementing employee advocacy programs
To fully harness the potential of employee advocacy, it is essential to master both the creative and technical aspects of designing and overseeing effective programs. Doing so can cultivate a powerful network of internal brand champions.
Explore our top recommendations and strategies for executing successful employee advocacy programs.
Develop a clear strategy
Before launching the program, define the specific goals and objectives you aim to achieve. This could include increasing brand awareness, attracting top talent, or improving employee engagement. Establish guidelines and policies for employee participation to ensure a consistent approach across the organization.
You can incorporate the time-blocking method into your strategy so employees can dedicate a specific amount of time per week or per month to their advocacy efforts. This can improve productivity and consistency, help employees develop a routine, and make advocacy efforts an integral part of their work.
Target key employee groups
Identify the key employee groups that naturally possess skills for becoming effective advocates. These could be individuals with strong social media presence, employees already actively sharing company news, or natural connectors within their networks. Targeting these groups as a starting point can create a strong foundation for your advocacy program.
Provide training and support
Offer training sessions and resources to help employees understand their role as brand advocates and equip them with the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed. This may include training on social media best practices, storytelling techniques, and guidance on sharing company news and job openings.
Offer ongoing support to address employees' questions or concerns as they participate in the program.
Create engaging content
Develop engaging content that employees will be proud to share, such as success stories, company milestones, or behind-the-scenes looks at company culture. Ensure that the content aligns with the organization's values and messaging guidelines. Providing employees with various content to share will keep their advocacy efforts fresh and exciting to their networks.
Recognize and reward employee contributions
Implement a system to acknowledge and reward employees who actively participate in the program. This can include public recognition, monetary incentives, or other forms of appreciation. Recognizing employees' efforts and contributions will motivate them to continue their advocacy efforts and reinforce the importance of the program.
Foster a culture of openness and trust
Encourage open communication and employee feedback, and be responsive to their suggestions and concerns. Creating an environment of trust and transparency will help employees feel more connected to the organization and make them more willing to participate in the advocacy program.
Monitor and measure success
Use analytics to track the success of your employee advocacy program and make data-driven decisions to improve its effectiveness. Monitor key performance indicators such as engagement rates, reach, and conversions to measure the impact of employee advocacy efforts on your overall business goals.
Continuously evolve and adapt
As your organization and industry evolve, so should your employee advocacy program. Regularly assess the program's performance, gather employee feedback, and adjust as needed to ensure its success. Keep employees updated on any changes to the program and encourage their ongoing participation.
🏆 4 Benefits of including employee advocacy programs in your recruitment efforts
When it comes to recruitment, employee advocacy programs play a crucial role.
According to a LinkedIn survey, companies with socially engaged employees are 58% more likely to attract top talent and 20% more likely to retain them. This means that sharing information about their workplace increases the chances of finding like-minded candidates.
👄 The power of word-of-mouth marketing
One of the things that makes employee advocacy so efficient is word-of-mouth marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful force that can significantly influence people's decisions. Employees who share their positive experiences working for a company can create a strong, persuasive message that resonates with potential candidates.
But also, word-of-mouth marketing through employee advocacy programs is cost-effective compared to traditional advertising campaigns. Employees can share brand messages at little to no cost, allowing companies to allocate marketing budgets to other important initiatives.
Nonetheless, it is crucial to emphasize that word-of-mouth marketing must be genuine.
Employee advocates should offer sincere and candid perspectives on the company's culture, products, and services.
This authenticity is vital in establishing robust and enduring relationships with customers, stakeholders, and potential employees, as it encourages transparency and cultivates trust.
🧲 Expanding the reach of recruitment efforts
Employee advocacy programs empower employees to share job openings and company information on their personal social media channels.
By doing so, they extend the reach of the company's recruitment efforts beyond traditional job boards and career websites and use texting for recruitment.
This expanded reach helps companies tap into a larger and more diverse pool of talent, increasing the chances of finding the perfect fit for a given position.
Also, employees can extend the reach of recruitment efforts by promoting the company's presence at industry events and conferences. Employees who attend these events as representatives of their organization can engage in networking activities, share their experiences, and promote job opportunities within the company.
💰 Reducing costs and improving the quality of hires
Employee advocacy programs can significantly reduce recruitment costs by tapping into an organization's existing network of employees. Instead of relying solely on expensive advertising campaigns and recruitment agencies, companies can leverage the connections and influence of their workforce to attract new talent. Moreover, employee referrals are typically faster and cheaper than traditional recruitment methods, leading to further cost savings.
Employees passionate about their company are likelier to recommend candidates with the same passion and commitment.
As a result, employee advocacy programs often lead to higher-quality hires who better fit the organization's culture and values. Plus, referred candidates typically have a higher retention rate, reducing the costs associated with employee turnover.
🥳 Boosting employer branding, engagement, and retention
In today's competitive job market, employer branding is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. By encouraging employees to share their positive experiences and accomplishments at work, companies can create an authentic and relatable employer brand. This, in turn, will help attract candidates who identify with the company's values and culture, leading to a more engaged and committed workforce.
When employees feel valued and empowered to advocate for their organization, they are likelier to be engaged in their work and remain loyal to the company.
Moreover, employees have a sense of ownership and pride in their organization, fostering a positive work environment and promoting long-term retention.
That said, sharing company swag and merchandise with employees effectively boosts engagement and promotes the company brand. For example, you can create visually appealing items such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, or tote bags that showcase your company logo and branding. These items can be a source of pride for employees and act as conversation starters, sparking interest in the company.
You can even incorporate a unique QR code into each branded material, so when people scan the QR code with their smartphones, they will be instantly redirected to the desired online destination. This will help promote your organization and provide an easy way to track your employees' engagement by the number of scans.
➡️ Don't waste recruitment efforts. Revolutionize employee enablement with Zavvy
Employee advocacy programs are revolutionizing the recruitment landscape by leveraging the power of word-of-mouth marketing, expanding the reach of recruitment efforts, and reducing recruitment costs.
These programs improve employer branding and employee engagement, resulting in higher-quality hires and lower turnover rates.
Attracting and recruiting top talent is just the beginning of the journey toward a thriving workforce.
What happens after employees join your organization is equally crucial for their growth and development. This is where Zavvy comes in as your trusty partner for onboarding and nurturing employees.
Let Zavvy help you unlock the full potential of your employees and create a culture of growth and high-performance.
🗓️ Take the first step by booking a demo to see Zavvy in action.
Author Bio: As a demand-gen specialist and copywriter, Yoshiro Kichiro is dedicated to helping businesses grow and thrive. With a deep understanding of persuasive language and data-driven decision-making, Yoshiro has developed successful campaigns for clients across a range of industries. In his free time, he enjoys traveling the world and experiencing new cultures.