As an external recruiter, you probably do a lot to communicate the needs of your client to potential job seekers. However, are you missing a key element that could take your recruitment strategy to the next level? No, it’s not some new fangled software or an expensive campaign. It’s branding and it can do you, and your client, some real good.
Studies show most companies are in the early stages of developing an employer brand strategy that builds competitive advantage, with only 16% of organizations having a clearly defined strategy. In addition, while 31% have a strategy, they admit it can be developed further.
A favorable corporate brand can make convincing your MPC that the job you have for them is worth considering. However, branding is also important for you. Projecting a positive image reassures both candidates and your existing clients and makes it that much easier to attract new clients.
The advice here is, in large part, as applicable to your firm, as it is useful advice for you to share with clients.
Before I delve into this, let’s go through some basics:
- Branding: Entrepreneur.com defines branding as “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”
- Brand ambassadors: These are individuals who help to spread the word about the organization.
- Social media recruiting: This hiring strategy involves using social networking platforms — including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter — to source and acquire great talent.
The combination of all these can improve the image of your client — and help build your own brand — while simultaneously helping your hiring efforts. Even though it’s not your “job” to commit to employer branding, better brand images can help you source awesome leads and hires. So, who can be the brand ambassadors in order to effectively roll-out social recruitment as an external recruiter?
Essentially, they are your client’s network of employees, customers, vendors, and business partners. For you, they are clients whose jobs you’ve filled and the candidates you’ve happily placed. They understand the organization. They know why a company is a great workplace, and why you provide a great service.
Brand ambassadors, though, need a little direction to get started.
Here are some simple ways to help build brand advocacy and make your job easier.
Provide the correct voice
Some brands like a casual voice. Others are into more serious conversations. For example, you may suggest to certain business partners that they reach out to potential employees in a conversational tone. Though it seems simple enough, tone is in the eye of the beholder. An example of this is knowing how an audience reacts to certain words, phrases, or sentence structures. The phrase, “Check out this post!” may seem too casual for one audience, while another may find the friendly tone beneficial.
Tip: Examples are always helpful! Provide some sample tweets, Facebook posts, or blog comments that illustrate the type of voice you’re suggesting. This will show them the right way to craft a great message and help you to gauge which words or phrases work better with the audience you need to reach on behalf of your client.
Make sharing simple
Passing along jobs shouldn’t be a complicated matter, especially for those who, like you, are not directly involved in the organization. For instance, encouraging one-click actions allows ambassadors to share jobs easily, such as through social media buttons.This means they don’t have to login or out of an internal social network or a career site. Everything is ready to share in a few clicks.
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Tip: Your client’s career site or internal social network should house all the necessary information so brand ambassadors can communicate value to potential hires. For instance, company history, job postings, testimonials, videos, etc. This provides participants with every resource in one spot.
Find talent the right way
While someone always knows someone who’s right for the job, the only way those “someones” are going to get noticed is if a network member can put them in a great light.
This has dual benefits: First, brand ambassadors are spreading the word on your client’s behalf. In addition, if your brand ambassador happens to come across a great candidate, their referral to you will get them noticed quicker and more favorably than if they simply sent in a resume.
Tip: Your client should have its employee brand advocates share their work experience on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. This isn’t as complicated as it may seem. For example, your client’s employees could post photos from a company party, recount how the job helped propel them into a lucrative career, or link to a successful charity event that makes the organization look like a fulfilling place to work. Your brand ambassadors should do the same on your social media pages.
It’s important to be prepared for every possible scenario. Brand advocacy means ambassadors may run into issues, such as unresponsive or worse, disgruntled or dissatisfied candidates. Know how to handle that by thinking through it in advance.
Tip: Try to meet regularly with those who are serving as brand advocates. This not only helps you to understand branding better, it also helps you to see the results of it. Note the online landscape, what people want, and what people are turned off by. You can then assess a good or bad situation head-on, instead of assuming the results you are given.
Brand advocates are a great way to build your brand. They do the talking for you, while helping you to find some great hires. Even if you’re unfamiliar with branding and how it produces results, understand that brand ambassadors can be the perfect face of an organization, as well as a trusted group of people with key abilities to reach out to those who can make your client even better.