Why employee advocacy attracts the best talent

Andrew Seel explains why getting the support of your workforce can help increase talent acquisition and reduce recruitment costs

Leading brands are increasingly opening up a huge new recruitment channel as they begin to work with their staff to share content on social media and make the talent acquisition process more effective. 

Brands are addressing the recruitment challenge by empowering staff to actively talk to their own personal networks on social via an advocacy tech platform about what it’s like to work at a company and drive up employee referrals. This helps build on personalisation and segmentation strategies and open up new audiences they previously couldn’t reach. 

Employees are able to have a significant effect on brand reach, engagement and recruitment when you consider that they are much more likely to be trusted than corporations. 'Someone like yourself’ is seen as much more credible than a CEO or board of directors, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2018.

Here are some of the key drivers behind the rise of employee advocacy:

Authentic voices

Employees know a brand’s products, services and workplace culture better than anyone else, so they are able to speak about them authentically, and with integrity in a language that is relevant to their own social network of friends, family and peers. This circle trusts what employees say and are much more likely to act on personalised posts.

People trust other people, so it is perhaps not surprising that brand messages are shared 24 times more when distributed by employees than the brand itself according to MSL Group.

When you put the number of employees together with knowledge and authenticity, you can see why so many brands are turning to tech-driven employee advocacy to achieve massive increases in awareness and reach.

New advocacy tech platforms

Word-of-mouth has always been incredibly powerful in marketing, but new tech is now supporting brands to scale up employee advocacy programmes. New employee advocacy platforms allow brands to manage advocates, measure and optimise activity and report accurate results back to senior leadership.

Candidates are 40 per cent more likely to apply for a role if they are familiar with the company brand, according to a recent Glassdoor report. An employee advocacy platform allows enterprise-level companies to significantly increase their brand presence, which is why organisations from Unilever, John Lewis, Mastercard and ASOS to Sky and General Electric are harnessing the power of their colleagues on social media.

A bigger, brighter audience

Competition for the brightest minds is now fierce, compounded by concerns around an ageing population, as well as ‘Brexodus’ – EU workers leaving the UK en masse amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. A huge increase in global ad blockers also means paid media no longer has the cut-through it once had.

The candidate experience needs to be radically improved, including diversity and inclusion. Potential candidates expect to be able to research a company to find out what the employee experience is like from people who actually work there, or have worked there.

Building employee engagement

An employee advocacy programme brings disparate workforces together and increases engagement around a shared purpose. 74 per cent of employees feel that they’re missing out on company information and news, according to a Gallup survey.

If your employees already share brand content organically it’s a good indicator you are ready for a formal employee advocacy programme driven through a tech solution where talent acquisition success can be measured consistently to meet business objectives.

Andrew Seel is CEO at Qubist