On this week’s HOW Talent webinar, Jobtrain’s Giles was joined by Head of Corporate Sales at Broadbean and the EMEA Lead for Social Referral, Josh Willows. On the agenda was the importance of reaching and building your brand and engagement levels with the groups of talent you might want to hire in the future.
About Broadbean and Josh Willows
Broadbean has successfully delivered global job distribution services to an array of businesses worldwide for the last 19 years and have worked in partnership with Jobtrain for over 6 years. Josh worked in recruitment advertising at reed.co.uk and moved to Broadbean 6 years ago, starting in Sales for their job distribution platform before moving into his current role.
CAN YOU INTRODUCE SOCIAL ADVOCACY AND WHAT THAT MEANS?
Referrals really are the 'gold standard' of hiring. New hires who were referred by current employees tend to stay in the business longer, are the right cultural fit and cost per hire is low.
Many companies see referrals as their best source of hire but so many openly admit that they do not manage this process well.
Social advocacy ties nicely into referrals and its useful to think of it as 'crowdsourcing your employer brand'. Rather than relying on your marketing or recruitment teams to capture and demonstrate the culture of your entire organisation, your employees will do this for you.
Crowdsourcing is a way to encourage your employees to talk openly about their role and what it is like to work in your organisation. You will hear different viewpoints and have original, authentic content which ties in with your culture. The key point is then to ensure the process of applying for a job is easy and accessible. This is the overall goal with social advocacy when looking at it from a recruitment perspective.
HOW SHOULD COMPANIES REACH A WIDE AND DIVERSE AUDIENCE?
If you consider how many connections the average person has on social media, the opportunity to amplify your brand through your network of employees is huge. If each employee is sharing workplace stories, talking about the organisation, or even sharing jobs then their contact reach is massive - they can reach a large audience very quickly.
If you look at the traditional model of referrals, i.e. asking an employee if they know anyone who would be a good fit for the company, then the likelihood is they will recommend people who mirror their own profile and personality – and this may not suit the needs of the business and could also have an impact on diversity.
WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION IS BEST TO SHARE AND WILL GAIN THE MOST ENGAGEMENT?
Finding a way to encourage people to share is the easy part, the strategy that goes with it can be the challenge. There is some value in prescribed content as companies will have corporate information that they want to share. This could be content about the organisation itself; news stories or cultural information and employees will feel safe sharing this information.
The companies that do well and have high engagement rates are those that trust their employees to deliver a positive message. This direction and autonomy must come from the senior team in the organisation, so people feel safe in sharing their own content. Encourage employees to share information but give them clear guidance around the type of content and some clear 'dos and don’ts'. The use of hashtags is a great place to start, for example, ask employees to share content on Facebook about why they like to work at Jobtrain and use the hashtag, #whyworkatjobtrain.
Over time, employees start to feel more confident in sharing content and the level of engagement will follow.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON WORKING WITH MARKETING TO DEVELOP A BEST PRACTICE GUIDE FOR EMPLOYEES SHARING CONTENT?
A detailed guide of what content people should or should not include is only going to act as a barrier and potentially will put employees off sharing content, so simplicity is key. Where possible, try and keep the message simple, perhaps with 5 clear points of things that must not be shared and 5 top tips for sharing positive content.
A suggestion would be to select a small group of ambassadors and see if they are confident in sharing information. If the guidance you have provided is clear, then review the messages and levels of engagement before rolling out to the wider organisation.
IS THERE A WAY IN WHICH YOU CAN REWARD EMPLOYEES FOR SOCIAL ADVOCACY?
Historically employees who have referred candidates have been rewarded if the person is subsequently employed and stays with the organisation for a certain length of time. They can’t control how the person performs at interview, how they connect with the recruiting manager or how the new starter onboarding process is managed. It seems only fair to reward people for their social advocacy rather than simply for hires.
We recommend that organisations turn the reward process into micro rewards, all the way through the recruitment process.
There is real value in employees sharing jobs and content and rewarding this with a points-based system can be powerful. Some organisations will attribute a certain amount of points for each job shared, each subsequent application made, each interview attended, right through to offer. The rewards do not need to be costly, it could be gift cards, a day’s holiday, a parking space for a month or a donation to charity.
Implementing a social advocacy programme might seem like a daunting task, but follow the advice provided and you will soon reap the rewards and benefits.
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