If you’re in the talent acquisition space, you’ve heard the analogy that job-searching is like dating. And just like the relationships you build outside of work, the ones you establish with your employees take time, effort and understanding.
It’s so easy for recruiters to forget about a candidate once they have joined the company. Once you’ve landed your fish, there’s no need to keep wooing, right? Maybe so, but you DO need to keep communicating and engaging. Because if you don’t, not only will your relationship fall apart, you will lose out on the best hiring source you can ever have: Employee Ambassadors. Here are five ways to transform employees into brand advocates.
1. Culture fit
Great recruiters understand the culture of the teams they are hiring into. That’s why we use the analogy of dating – making that cultural match, finding that chemistry, that’s always the most critical part. Regularly including culture as part of the recruiting conversations opens the door to continue those conversations after the candidate is hired.
Does your company have a standard new hire check-in process that allows recruiters, HR and management to hear how things are going at regular intervals after someone joins the company? If not, get one going! Take the opportunity to ask your hires how they feel, gauge their emotional temperature, and make sure they’re aware of resources for all aspects of their experience as an employee. Regular check-ins help employees continue to feel grounded and valued, and dramatically increase their willingness to advocate their company to others.
2. Find out what works
Different teams and different departments are, well, different. Just as a great recruiter knows the culture of each group, you should know what approaches work in encouraging ambassadorship. If you’re seeking ambassadors from a group that holds fast-paced, stand-up meetings every morning, then try joining one to quickly talk about critical openings. If you want someone from a team that works remotely, circle them up with your collaboration software and do some brainstorming. Have a team full of introverts? Send them an email they can easily forward on.
3. You already know who it is
If you filled a role on a team, and presumably have filled several others, then you already know #1 and #2. You already know what’s going to work and you already know who has the personality and drive to represent your company and speak out about you. Seek them out! Talk to them! Give them everything they need to get out there and sing your praises!
4. Tell them what you need
You can’t just rely on your people to know what you need or what to do. If you want ambassadors, you have to ask them! And what’s more, you have to tell them how to go about it. Include links to your company’s social profiles in your email signature and encourage others to do the same. You can use social media posting tools to build templates and give employees suggestions on how to talk about your company and their job. Make sure you’re offering help, rather than pushing a hard sale.
5. Don’t take them for granted
Regardless of their style and personality, employees who feel satisfied with their work, who see a future for themselves at the company, and who enjoy the people they work with, are going to advocate for you. Calling out their successes both as professionals and in supporting recruitment through referrals, ensures that your employees know they are appreciated. A heartfelt “thank you” goes a long way!
As with any successful relationship, communication and appreciation are crucial. Keep talking, engaging, and championing your employees and over time they’ll be spreading the word to their friends, family and even strangers.