Your employees can be your company’s best – or worst – ambassadors. Learn how top brands enlist their employees to support their employer brands, and how you can, too.
One simple Google search. That’s all it takes for a candidate to discover what it’s like to work at your company.
“Very low pay. Dirty, cluttered employee areas. Bad department managers.”
“This is really a terrible company to work for.”
“Amazing company to work for. Great values, support of their employees and overall company mission.”
Your employees are your brand’s ambassadors. They can make or break your hiring strategy, whether you like it or not. According to ORC International’s Global Perspectives Survey, 51 percent of job seekers research companies by talking to employees.
In fact, a recent survey by Edelman found that employees outranked all other spokespeople, even the CEO, as trustworthy experts on topics including work environment, company culture, innovation, and integrity. Job seekers want to know the real deal, from real people, having real experiences — not HR representatives, not senior executives, or celebrity spokespeople.
And today, online reviews and social media have given your employees a megaphone: they can spread the word about your company at scale. This is great news when the word they’re spreading is positive, but when it’s not, it can have serious implications on your ability to attract talent.
How to turn your employees into positive ambassadors
Firstly, it’s important to understand what they’re saying and what they’re thinking. Monitor the activity and sentiment in social media to understand what’s being said today, and how well it connects to your brand story (also known as your Employee Value Proposition).
Next, it’s time to enlist a team of ambassadors to spread the word about your brand. Identify your influencers – those whom others listen to, whose opinion is valued and trusted. Your team of brand ambassadors will use their powers of influence to ensure the brand story is successfully adopted throughout the organization. Ensure they understand this responsibility and are willing to make the initiative a success. Train your trainers – give them the tools they need to pass the message along and become advocates, collaborate with them to ‘launch’ your brand internally, build excitement and begin to embed the brand story into your organization’s culture.
Who’s doing it well? Employer Brands we Love
• L’Oréal’s Employer Brand Revamp: In 2012, the beauty manufacturer embarked on a revamp of its employer brand, bringing employees into the process by asking them about what made working at the company great. Today those employer brand materials include people talking about their own experience at L’Oréal and the exciting, inspiring, and demanding aspects of the job. By encouraging employees to express themselves in their own words and use visuals, inspired by the likes of Instagram, they help to make the messages attractive, credible, and engaging.
• Adobe’s High Employee Engagement: This leading global software company has also taken a lead in turning employees into brand ambassadors. Adobe’s Social Shift program teaches employees about social media guidelines, shares best practices for social sharing, and ultimately helps them become brand ambassadors. Adobe’s top-drawing social media posts come not from the company itself or the CEO or senior executives, but from Adobe employees. Today, Adobe ranks third nationally on the SociaLook leaderboard for employee social media engagement with more than one in six employees active on Twitter.
Remember, companies in every industry and region, of all sizes and cultures, can benefit from developing a strong employer brand, and your employee ambassadors are a crucial piece of the puzzle.
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Download our whitepaper for more tips on how to run a brand ambassador campaign.