How to Activate Your Recruiting Secret Weapon

By Jim Conti

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By now, companies no longer debate whether or not they should be on social media—they know that social is a critical channel for communication between brands and their audiences. But when it comes to talent, many organizations are missing out on a huge opportunity to reach and recruit top candidates through social.

A new data report from Bambu by Sprout Social shows that while 44.5% of people say that they are more likely to apply for a job after seeing a friend post about it on social, only 9.4% of employees are using social media to recruit for their company.

Your employees are your brand’s most trusted ambassadors. Their personal connections—friends, family, professional and academic peers—look to them for an honest perspective on what it’s like to work at your organization. And trust isn’t the only reason their social networks are valuable: Your employees have sizable personal networks through which brand messages reach 561% further than when your official brand channel shares it.

To get a better idea of what an employee advocacy program could do for your organization and recruiting efforts, calculate the reach of your team using this simple employee advocacy reach calculator. And when you’re ready to activate your recruiting secret weapon, start with these four tips to get your team talking.

Create a foundation of employee engagement.

Effective and open internal communication is a crucial first step to social recruiting. How can employees be expected to recruit for a job they don’t know exists? Make sure your human resources, management and/or internal communications teams have a defined and coordinated strategy in place for regularly sharing valuable information—including job openings and content pieces that focus on company culture—with your employees.

Think: What’s in it for me?

Like any new initiative, an employee advocacy program should be thoughtfully introduced—and marketed—to your team. Be clear about the intended outcomes for your company, but make it easy for employees to buy into the program by articulating the personal benefits of participation. For instance, make it clear to your employees that sharing company and industry news will not only help the brand, it will help them to:

?Build a personal brand as a thought leader in their respective fields.

?Demonstrate expertise to potential customers and colleagues.

?Share in the company’s success by boosting awareness and success of the company.

Make job postings easy to find and share.

Even companies that embrace employee advocacy in theory are falling short in practice by failing to provide tools and content to make sharing as simple as possible. Of the employees surveyed, 16.4% feel as if they don’t have time to share, 15.7% don’t know what they should share, and 15.6% are afraid of sharing the wrong thing.

Creating a central hub of curated content can help eliminate these concerns. An employee advocacy platform will enable your Talent Team to add the jobs they want to promote, along with additional context and suggested messages for social sharing. While employees should be encouraged to customize their social posts, templates can ease concerns about time and confidence on social media.



Pair your ask with an existing referral program.

While some employees are naturally engaged and happy to share job postings for your company, others might benefit from an incentive. Pair the ask—“share this posting with your networks”—with a reminder about any existing referral bonus or similar incentive.

If your company doesn’t have a referral program yet, consider this: employee referrals have the highest applicant-to-hire conversion rate. According to Jobvite, while only 7% of applicants are employee referrals, they account for 40% of all new hires. If you can’t offer a cash incentive, think about non-monetary benefits that your team would enjoy, like additional PTO or work flexibility, advance access to tickets and events, or recognition in a public forum like a company meeting or newsletter.

Involving employees in the social recruiting process will help you reach more high quality potential applicants, including passive candidates. In today’s socially connected world, companies that activate their employee advocates will benefit from a stronger employer brand, a more engaged workforce and greater access to talent through social. 


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