Why Engaged Employees Are Your Number 1 Recruitment Tool

Happy and engaged employees don’t just boost productivity. They are also the key to limiting your escalating recruitment cost. Learn how to use your employee engagement activities to win the war for talent.

Are you employees happy and engaged? If not, do something about it asap! If yes: Great news – now let the world know!

Because in 2019 your employees are without a doubt your number 1 asset when it comes to hiring their new colleagues. Companies still spend vast amounts of money on what is called “post and pray” recruitment advertisement, which is basically the classic approach of posting a job ad and hoping the right candidates notice it and are intrigued enough to apply.

In the olden days, this was done in industry magazines and newspapers and for the past 20 years, that same approach has been transferred to online job boards in various forms.

Time for a new strategy

The issue with this approach is simple: it’s not an efficient strategy anymore. There are a bunch of trends going on in the way younger generations think about their careers, such as a lack of desire for traditional corporate trajectories, a desire for more flexibility in terms of both industries, roles and ways of working, as well as a strong desire for purpose.

Those trends make it harder for many companies that used to be seen as highly attractive employers to get the talent they need in the door. We also see that especially the younger generations trust their peers and network a lot more than corporate advertisement, when it comes to making big career decisions – people trust content created by people, not by brands.

Activate your engaged employees with an Employee Advocacy programme

So what do you do to attract new employees if job boards and recruitment agencies aren’t enough anymore? Well, if the potential candidates out there don’t believe in the messages when they come from your company brand, you should probably consider changing the messenger.

Employee Advocacy programmes in various shapes and forms have been around for a few years now. Some are strictly sales focused and revolve around what is also known as Social Selling. Some have a general branding focus and some are clearly focused on recruitment and talent attraction. And especially the latter can be very powerful. Just think of your own behaviour online and imagine scrolling through your LinkedIn feed, where you spot a sponsored update from XYZ bank about open positions vs.a fun video from a cool company event posted by someone you went to university with. What makes you consider working at XYZ more? Kinda of a no-brainer, right?

Companies with a successful employee advocacy program are 58% more likely to attract and 20% more likely to retain top talent. But how do you get going?

3 tips to get started with Employee Advocacy

Start with your “influencers”:

Rolling out an Employee Advocacy programme across an entire company at once is possible but not ideal. It is a lot of administrative work and the training and facilitation you will do tends to become a little too generic as there can be huge gaps among employees in terms of how digitally savvy they are. You will be better off handpicking a core group of “influencers” that you know are already active ambassadors to a certain extent and then nurture them as in any other talent program.

Pick people with great networks in the target audiences you are recruiting within, pick people that are outgoing and how have interesting career journeys to tell about. Invite them for workshops, have a photographer take a new profile picture and set the framework for the programme.

If the programme takes off with the “influencers” the rest of the company will surely feel inspired to join in.

Strike the right balance

Nothing is worse than employees posting too much content that screams “corporate”. That is why you need to strike the right balance between helping your employees as much as you can and letting them find their own voice. 15 people posting an update with similar wording reeks of inauthenticity. Just think of the football player who copied too much of the suggested tweet from his PR people and included their instructions: “Just tweet something like Unbelievable support yesterday and great effort by the lads” – embarrasing! By all means, create helpful guidelines, do’s & don’ts and send out articles, content ideas and suggestions, but don’t do the work for them, that will only lead to bad results.

Measure and celebrate

They biggest risk to an Employee Advocacy is that you lose momentum after initial excitement wears off. That is why it is crucial that you set clear targets, follow up on the results and celebrate the wins: If a video post by one of your influencers/ambassadors reaches X amount views, if an open position gets X amount of A-rated applicants after being shared by employees, and so on. And make sure that there are some incentives for the participants – could be a prize for “influencer of the month” or similar.

Hopefully the tips above have given you some inspiration to get started and can help you in your efforts to share your great stories with the world and attract some top talent to your company. Have fun!

Optimizing Employee Lifetime Value in 2019