A company’s brand is one of its most valuable assets. A brand builds trust, gives confidence, helps develop relationships and is what defines a company’s identity in the marketplace. Driving a brand forward when it’s not universally recognised is hard work. Marketing a brand can become expensive and requires the skills of a range of creative professionals and specialists. Organisations big and small understand this, but what many don’t realise is that their employees are the best ambassadors for driving their brand forward and reaching corners of the commercial world regular marketing can’t.
Whether you work in-house or for an agency, you already know that the recruitment world is not for the faint-hearted and attracting candidates in a crowded field is one of the most challenging aspects of being a recruiter. Engaging employees as advocates for your business is one of the smartest moves a company can make. Team members that join a company as the result of an employee attraction are more likely to stay with the company longer and be more dedicated. But before giving your employees the freedom to shout the benefits of your organisation there must be some basic foundations in place.
Do your employees know what the company stands for? Are your company’s mission, ethics and values instilled into every member of staff? In 2013, Gallup surveyed 3,000 employees from a number of industries posing the statement “I know what my company stands for and what makes our brand(s) different from our competitors.” 41% concurred with the statement, 23% disagreed. This highlighted a clear lack in understanding, not through any fault of the people surveyed, but the need for a clear, well-communicated message is vital.
Merely communicating the ethics, organisation and direction of your company will not make employees brand ambassadors, staff need structure and direction if they are going to succeed in winning over outsiders with their passion for your business. Setting guidelines and supporting your team members in their mission to attract candidates is essential. Knowing what they can and can’t do and say will provide direction and give you peace of mind. A reward programme for successful referrals is a necessity in the modern work environment and the perfect complement to any programme to engage employee brand ambassadors. Your team know recruitment is expensive and that their referrals will save time and money, make sure they are suitably rewarded for their efforts.
Social media is one of the greatest tools to enable employees to become brand ambassadors. To some this might sound like a risky route to take, for others it is the most logical delivery method. Before you consider letting staff loose in the (almost) lawless realms of the internet there has to be ground rules. If you don’t already have a company-wide social media policy, this might be the perfect time to implement one. Don’t make it too rigid, but ensure everyone knows what they can and can’t say, tweet or publish.
Your employees aren’t just the amazing people that dedicate years to the development and growth of your company, they are also the greatest assets you have to promote and sell your company to a passive candidate market. People buy from people, as they say, and the more genuine and human the message emanating from your organisation, the more people will buy into your organisation and want to become part of your brand.
Broadbean's SocialReferral is THE automated and seamless workflow for employee referral. Find out how to empower your employees and realise the real value of referral, each and every day.