If you’re like me, you probably found your first job through a method that seems decidedly antiquated by today’s digital standards. Perhaps it was through a job board, a career fair, word of mouth, or even a newspaper posting.
But with job seekers more plugged in than ever, you’re not truly accessible to candidates unless you’re mobile. According to one study, employers who used social media to hire found a 49 percent improvement in the quality of candidates compared to applicants sourced through traditional recruiting channels.
Talent is also more demanding today. Job seekers don’t see salary as everything, and forget about the “post and pray” strategy. Your company needs to actively engage with the channels it’s using — especially when you’re targeting Millennials who value relationships and authenticity.
One of the most effective ways to meet job seekers where they are (and in the authentic way they desire) is by tapping into employee advocacy.
The Many Benefits of Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy happens when a company empowers its employees to support the goals of its brand, utilizing content and employee-owned social media channels. This not only boosts your employee retention, but it also bolsters your recruitment efforts.
After all, there’s a valuable trust factor connected to employee advocacy. Because employees have direct, personal relationships with their friends, followers, and online connections, their job posts are often perceived as more credible than those from companies. And qualified applicants tend to be more likely to apply for jobs their friends have posted, knowing they’ll likely get a good recommendation or at least a phone screen.
In fact, referred candidates are twice as likely to land an interview as other applicants, and referred candidates who make it to the interview stage are 40 percent more likely to be hired.
Tapping into employee advocacy also allows for more personal, real-time communications with job seekers. Today’s employees are constantly online. They live on their mobile devices and can reach their connections with a single tap. They’re able to share information, respond to critics, and engage in relevant and timely conversations about their company more efficiently than a single social media manager can.
Tap Into the Power of Your People
Partnering with your employees and enabling them to spread the word about your job openings may be the competitive edge you need. After all, nearly two in five employers have job postings stay open for four months or longer, but a current employee can easily share positions with a handful of pre-vetted candidates in just one click.
In fact, when online retailer 1-800-FLOWERS.COM started making a concerted effort to tap into its employees’ social networks for potential new hires, its candidate flow increased by 30 percent in just one weekend. Use these four tips to implement employee advocacy measures into your own recruiting efforts:
- Choose an expert employee advocacy partner. Look for a company that not only provides the right set of tools and technology, but one that also brings guidance, training, and hands-on support to the table.
- Do a soft launch. Identify a core group of early adopter employees to start. Choose people who are already thought leaders or active social users. They’ll integrate into your employee advocacy efforts faster and lead the rest of your team by example.
- Create a diverse, multi-network social recruiting strategy. Just as in any investment, diversity is key. Be sure to integrate your recruiting approach with other marketing efforts. Weaving employee advocacy efforts into existing PR and engagement campaigns enables all approaches to complement and build off one another.
- Make it easy. Don’t expect your employees to create content and social posts on their own. Instead, equip them with company-approved content, and ensure that it only takes a few clicks for them to syndicate it to their audience.
You’ll find the benefits don’t stop with the recruiting process. Tapping into employee advocacy through social and digital media also has a major effect on maintaining a positive company culture. Companies like Deloitte, SAP, and MSLGROUP currently use tactics like these to distribute job listings, news, and general information to employees to empower them to share those items with their personal networks. This creates a collaborative internal culture while making the search for new talent much more efficient.
When employees are empowered to share company messages as thought leaders, it gives them more ownership over their roles in your organization. Happy employees tend to be loyal, vocal, and active on behalf of their companies, meaning their participation in social recruiting accomplishes much more, internally and externally, than any job board ever could.