In one of our recent LinkedIn Lives, Sarah Goodall, Tribal Impact CEO, spoke to Katrina Collier, Author, Facilitator, Mentor, and Speaker about the role of employer branding and advocacy in talent attraction and retention.
You can watch the full interview here, or check out the summary of what they discussed below.
Your employees are already online
A lot of leaders seem to think that if the allow employees to use social media, those employees will get involved in conversations that might be damaging to the business and/or become more attractive to the market and they'll get poached. This is short-sighted, though.
There are 4 billion people on the internet. 2.4 billion are on Facebook. 800 million are on LinkedIn. There are also sites like GitHub, StackOverflow, and Behance. Whether you like it or not, your employees are already online. So if you're concerned about how they might represent you, why not teach them what to do?
Invest in people first, not advocacy
If you don't take care of your employees, they're much more likely to say negative things about you online. If you take care of them, and if you nurture their skills, they're more likely to say positive things about you, which will help you attract even more talent.
They'll only do those things if they're in a culture that they feel comfortable in, though. You can do this by creating an inclusive culture where people feel like they belong and they're making a difference with what they do.
Its really about investing in people, not advocacy. When your employees are happy, they're more productive and they'll do a better job. It doesn't take a huge amount of money to make them happy, it just requires a mindset shift.
Embrace natural storytellers
Find your natural storytellers – those who want to speak at conferences, or who might already write blogs and share great updates. Invest in them and get them to do more, rather than focusing on employees who aren't comfortable doing either.
Over time, this will impact things like job applications - how many you get, the types of applications you receive, and how qualified candidates are when they apply.
It can be hard to measure the results of employee advocacy. However, there's a clear correlation when employees become active and start sharing content.
If you manage the hiring process through LinkedIn, you can look at things like:
• How much traffic are they driving to your recruitment pages?
• How much of that traffic turns into applications?
• How many of those applications turn into interviews?
You can then measure that and see the impact of that. If you use other advocacy platforms, you can look at things like traffic to career pages through UTM tracking.
Your ROI might also be of a different kind. It may not be about getting candidates through the door. It might be fixing something you know needs work, like diversity within the organisation. To work out what impact advocacy is having, look at what's important to the business. Has it changed since you introduced an advocacy programme?
Is there a demographic you need more of within the organisation? Which social media platform do they spend their time on? Is it Instagram? TikTok? Somewhere else? Go find them where they're already hanging out.
This is where brand ambassadors can really help. If you're trying to attract more females, why don't you invite some of the females already in your company to tell their story and why they moved into this industry? Suggested Katrina.
Its about storytelling, authenticity, and meeting people where they're at. This involves being creative in how you recruit. For some demographics, a TikTok interview about working practices could be much more impactful than a written LinkedIn post.
Build a talent pipeline
You almost need to treat recruiting the same as you do sales, by creating a pipeline. Some people might not be ready to come work with you now, but working on bringing them closer can mean when they're ready, they'll be the perfect fit.
There are companies that have employer branding specialists or recruitment marketers who look after the company's talent pipeline. They share stories with them, let them know about the jobs that are coming up, and keep in touch with them regularly.
You can teach the technical stuff. Its a lot harder to teach someone to fit in culturally. An active, engaged pipeline helps you to skip this step because they'll know what they're signing up for before they click to apply.
Many companies currently don’t use the technology to manage talent acquisition through employee advocacy. They need to invest in it so that they can build a talent pipeline filled with candidates eager to work with them, and so that they can embrace employees natural storytelling skills. Those skills are part of what will help them stand out from competitors.
While its hard to measure the ROI of advocacy, looking at things like visits to jobs or career pages, and how many of those visitors apply for roles, can be a good place to start.