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Employee advocacy: your biggest untapped recruitment marketing resource

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If you’re serious about winning the war for talent then you’ll already be creating social content that showcases your company as an employer, not just a brand. But are you ensuring this content gets the traction it deserves?

What if you could access the social network of every employee you have and connect their connections to your employer branding message?

It’s called employee advocacy, and it’s your secret weapon in recruitment marketing.

Employee advocacy captures the power of the workforce, increases social reach and ignites and shapes your dialogue with future talent. By giving your employees structural, relevant and interesting content to comment on and share to their social media you’ll transform the way you tell your online story – without spending media budget.

It’s hands down the best way to reach new audiences and tell them your employer story. And if you’re wondering if this increased audience is your future talent, wonder no more.

They’re all your future talent.

So how do you organise and incentivise employees to post, comment on and share company news? Let’s go back to the beginning.

Why use employee advocacy in your recruitment?

First, it’s easy. Your employees are already on social media – and they’re probably already linked to your brand. A LinkedIn study showed that in most companies, 90% of employees have an account linked to the company page, so everything is already in place for you to set up an employee advocacy programme.

The numbers also add up. The average employee has between 500 and 1000 connections on LinkedIn alone, which means that for every ten employees who engage in employee advocacy – liking, sharing and commenting on your posts – you could increase your reach 10,000 times.

And that’s not all. When you post on LinkedIn, the algorithm only shows your post to around 15% of your connections. Depending on how well that 15% engages with the content, the post is then released to the other 85%. Put simply, the more comments and likes your post gets from its first audience, the bigger that audience will become.

Finally, there’s a hidden benefit of employer advocacy: retention. That’s right - employees who play an active part in employer advocacy are more likely to stay at their company. So you could be saving money on your recruitment at the same time as improving retention. Win win.

What does it look like?

Anything an employee shares about your company or any action they take to increase the reach of your company page’s posts counts as advocating for your business.

That could be:

  • Commenting on a ‘we’re hiring’ post to say what they love about working there
  • Posting on their own social media account about a company achievement (and linking back to the company page)
  • Sharing the perks and benefits of working for you e.g. team lunches
  • Sharing and commenting on company-developed content e.g. a blog to engage audiences in an industry-related topic

The more comments, posts, shares and likes, the more your connections will get a flavour of your company, and the more the organic reach of your posts will increase.

How to do it

So how do you embed employee advocacy into your workforce?

1. Be transparent

Let your employees know why you’re asking them to take part in employee advocacy and what it will mean for them and the company.

2. Be specific

Do you want employees to comment on company content, post twice a week on their own social accounts, or share specific posts? You’re more likely to get buy-in if you give clear guidelines and expectations.

3. Celebrate achievements

Whether it’s an employee’s first year anniversary or you’ve landed a new client, use social media to shout about internal achievements and raise awareness of the business’s values and culture.

4. Share knowledge

Show you’re the best in your industry by highlighting the expertise of your staff. Encourage them to make comments on your blog posts, or even write their own. Future talent will be more likely to apply if they see an engaged, expert workforce that they’d like to join.

Using social media in your recruitment strategy is a no-brainer. But using your employees’ social media to increase your social reach and improve your employer brand is a step beyond. Employer advocacy just might be the biggest untapped resource in your recruitment strategy – and it’s sitting right under your nose.

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