A Handy Guide to Putting Your Money (Brand) Where Your Mouth (Employee Advocacy) Is

Jess Von Bank
September 13 ․ 5 min read

Talent Acquisition is about building relationships. Social media is about building relationships. And everyone knows that engaged, happy employees help attract both talent and customers. That’s why employee advocacy programs have become table stakes - for the consumer brand as well as, increasingly, your employer brand. And yet, staggeringly, only 47% of companies fold advocacy into their talent acquisition efforts. Why wouldn't you activate your most powerful, persuasive and authentic voices to tell the employer story?

Perhaps it’s knowing where to start. Maybe I can help:

1. Start somewhere

Talent Acquisition is motivated to do social recruiting…they’re already trying to do it, probably not well. Identify hand raisers: your hungriest, most competitive early adopters. There’s your pilot group.
Everyone recruits. Hopefully your organization says that – and means it. Outside of Talent Acquisition, who are the best megaphones for your employer brand? Grab them, too.

2. Partner

Someone in your organization knows and understands that happy, engaged employees are the best attraction tool for top, fresh talent. (By the way, if you can attract talent well by showcasing your company culture, stories, brand, etc. – you’re also going to attract customers.) Find your Marketing, Employment Branding, and HR influencers who own the employee value proposition, employer brand, and consumer brand. Leverage opportunities to collaborate and partner.

3. Define realistic program goals

Maybe your out-of-the-gates goal is to get some control over content and automate something that’s manual today. Or your organization needs to amplify its brand and messaging and you need to get the word out as far and wide as possible. What does a successful social recruiting program look like in 6 months, 1 year, then 2 years out?

4. Leverage executive championship

“Social recruiting is mission critical to our organization.” – this statement is included in required social media training at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 40 global healthcare giant with 170,000 employees.  The VP of Global Talent Acquisition at HPE, one of the biggest IT companies on the planet, requires every employee in Talent Acquisition to do social recruiting. It’s a performance objective.  Failing to attract top talent isn’t a recruiting problem; it’s a business problem. When you can tie the importance and value of social recruiting to a company’s bottom line, it becomes mission critical.

5. Take out your measuring stick

Activate ambassadors, deploy a content strategy to meet program goals, and measure. Survey users: Is this meeting your needs? Are you seeing results? Evaluate KPIs…how is prospective talent engaging with us? Is our brand awareness increasing?

6. Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate

You’re going to learn a lot. You’re measuring a highly passive but high-converting, quality channel that isn’t well-measured today. Take your early learnings and adjust accordingly – do you have the right users activated? Are you providing the right mix of content? Is the content driving engagement?

7. Now measure again

Your program goals will shift with your business needs, the outcomes you’re driving, talent attraction initiatives, etc. Fine tune your program and identify new measures of success as the value story unfolds and your needs evolve.

8. ROI

The ROI will be there (instantly). If this is your initial foray into social recruiting, you will better know what success looks like as you learn, build on early success, and begin to benchmark. Then…

9. Broadcast your success story

Talent Acquisition has a seat at the table – every CEO will tell you recruiting and retaining top talent is a top business initiative. Use this platform to tie the results of an employee advocacy program for Talent Acquisition to measurable, tangible business outcomes.

10. Build & expand

The sky is the limit. The full enterprise is your goal. Everyone recruits, so start the slow roll out to the broader employee base (see #2)…to ensure everyone really does help you recruit.

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