How to Cultivate Employee Advocates and Brand Ambassadors to Attract Top Talent
When a company has a great reputation, they're talking the talk; when they have a reputable internal culture, they're walking the walk
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Employer branding is the good name of a business - it's how other people see a company represented in the public domain. Employee value proposition, or EVP, is a lesser-known but equally important asset to a brand's internal reputation. EVP embodies a company culture and how businesses recognise and reward employees for their hard work.
When employer branding and EVP work harmoniously, it builds employee advocates and brand ambassadors for your business. They attract like-minded people and set your business up as a place people want to work.
Creating employee advocates is crucial to a business' growth and hiring culture, as candidates are three times more likely to trust a company's employees than the company itself. They personify a business in social networking spheres, and encapsulate the tone of a brand across all communications. They give the employer brand legs, which 75 percent of job seekers consider before even applying for a role.
Brand ambassadors share the good word of your company, which aids growth through business and employee referrals. They can act as your recruiters on the ground, using broader networks to recognise values in potential employees that align with their knowledge of your employer brand.
Ultimately, your employer brand and EVP is vital to secure top talent over your competitor. With Australian industries facing skills shortages, a positive employer reputation and offering is just good business sense.
Find Your EVP
It's important to define the spirit of a business early on, as it helps to identify similar characteristics in prospective employees. When the values of workers align with a business', it creates a symbiotic partnership that has a knock-on effect for the greater team, and workplace culture.
This is a great place to start when shaping your EVP. Consider the workplace you want to foster and take note of the overarching mood that already exists.
Start by holding focus groups to determine what people like about the business; what benefits and recognition they enjoy; and what makes them feel valued at work. Encourage honesty and actively listen to the responses. This will identify the strengths of an EVP and might signal areas to improve.
Career development and flexible working are two of the top things people look for when searching for a new employer, so consider how this fits in with your business framework and what steps can be taken to develop these areas.
Build Your Employer Brand
When you have a great EVP, it's important to share it. Organise for employee advocates to leverage channels like networking events and social media to put your brand out to market.
Authentic storytelling is key to sharing what a workplace culture really looks like. When an EVP is solid, authenticity comes naturally to employee advocates who can preach for your business' practices.
Create content that represents your company's voice as it will speak to the talent you want to attract. Publish content online as 52 percent of job seekers will search for a company's website or social media before applying for a role.
Keep Expectations Realistic
When it comes to hiring, it's important to be transparent about the details. Take time to write a focused job ad that outlines salary expectations, necessary qualifications and professional development opportunities truthfully.
Never oversell what you have to offer just to compete with the job market. Research shows that candidates will take a lower-salaried role with a better EVP over a higher paying position with a poor EVP.
With that in mind, be sure to promote the rewards and benefits your business has to offer by outlining tangible internal rewards, recognition and community initiatives to attract - and retain - the right people.
Respond to every applicant - there's nothing more disheartening than applying for a role and never getting a response - it can create a bad reputation for your company by leaving applicants bitter. Adopting an applicant tracking system (ATS) is a simple method to ensure every candidate is dignified with a response.
Unsuccessful candidates need feedback on why they weren't hired. They might be valuable to your business in the long run when they've developed the necessary skills and experience.
Making the hiring process as personalised and compassionate as possible builds brand ambassadors from unsuccessful applicants. They will encourage others to apply by sharing their positive experience of your business' hiring process.
Adapt the EVP as Your Business Grows
As your business scales, your EVP will too. It's vital to reflect on this regularly to ensure it aligns with the ambitions of your staff members. A strong EVP married with solid employer branding leads to a 28 percent reduction in staff turnover, so prioritise them.
Keep the conversation alive with regular focus groups exploring areas for EVP and employer branding to improve. Design your workplace so employees can be at the top of their game - this will keep them around in the long run.