Employee engagement and digital transformation is a hot topic among HR professionals at the moment because of its implications for company culture, productivity and retention, but it also has a huge impact on the war for talent.
The best minds will be attracted to companies that exhibit a strong and positive brand identity but even if this is established and there is an excellent internal culture, people tend not to listen to what brands say but what people say.
According to ‘The Official Guide to Employee Advocacy’ by LinkedIn “the click through rate (CTR) on a piece of content is two times higher when shared by an employee versus when shared by the company itself”. Within the same guide, LinkedIn report that employees are trusted more than brands. “According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, people are three times more likely to trust company information shared by an employee than that shared by a CEO,” says the guide.
Building positive relationships
This means it’s imperative for brands to build their recruitment strategy from the inside out. Brands need to engage with their employees and build meaningful relationships. More intimate connections between a brand and an employee will generate reciprocal behaviour and galvanise colleagues to help spread positive brand word of mouth.
Employers can leverage their employee capital by looking at how they use social media, as this is where many potential candidates will form their impression of a brand. McKinsey & Co state: “The impact of social media on buying decisions is greater than previously estimated and the pool of the most effective influencers is largely untapped.” For most companies, their employee base remains untapped and so their impact on the best minds in the marketplace is severely reduced.
By implementing a social media employee advocacy programme, brands can connect with employees in new ways. New technology now means employers can adopt a cloud platform to scale employee advocacy programmes in a way that wasn’t possible before. This is a real opportunity for companies to enhance their brand reputation online and play their strongest recruitment card – their colleagues.
An employee social media advocacy can start with just a few colleagues who can act as champions inside the business. Employees can then be invited at scale and connect their social networks, so they can share brand news to their own personal Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts. Each week on the platform, new brand content can be posted from fun team events such as charity fundraisers to individual employee achievements and new products and services.
Engagement converts to recruitment
By engaging employees and switching on their powerful and influential networks, brands can gain an advantage over their competitors in the war for talent – going beyond navel-gazing brand communication to reach and convert the best minds.
Once the social media employee advocacy programme gains momentum it can be scaled to different departments, regions and countries. Employers can also then get employees involved more in generating content, producing ideas and making positive contributions. This will make employees feel valued and add to the sense of purpose within the business that all colleagues can rally around.
While we often hear about ‘Influencers’ today in the form of youtubers or instagrammers, the real influencers who exhibit the highest levels of trust with their family, friends and peers are actually everyday individuals like employees. They may have much less reach but they have high levels of engagement and what they say is much more likely to be listened to and acted on. Plus employers can scale employees to create mass reach. The war for talent can be won with your own people - you just need to switch them on.