How to Get Your Employees to Be Company Brand Ambassadors

November 13, 2014 at 6:30 AM by Kathleen de Lara

employer brandingThe first steps of getting more talent into the funnel isn’t just having a first-class, well-oiled machine comprised of sources and recruiters who know a good candidate when they see it – it’s making sure your current workforce is happy with what they’re doing.

Otherwise, you’re touting a company and its advantages without anything else to back you up on it besides fellow team members whose goals bank on you filling the open req, and the trust your good word lines up with those benefits and perks you mentioned.

In other words, before all else, focus on building a positive employee experience to align what the role you’re selling to the role your team is selling.

Developing an employee referral program is one of the smartest sourcing techniques for decreasing your time and cost per hire. It’s also easier to build engagement and a relationship with a potential hire if your immediate, mutual connection is a colleague. Think of it in the same way as attending a networking event where you don’t know anyone, finding someone who went to college with your older sister, and spending a good portion of the evening having a pleasant tete-a-tete with someone you just mete-a-mete, maybe even as good friends who hit if off as if you've known each other for a long time.

Sites like Glassdoor make it easy to weed out companies blowing up smoke – companies whose employer brand is nowhere near the reality of the employee experience. Improve the internal brand (what employees think about the company, why they are or aren’t satisfied, their take on ways to improve management and work processes, why they do or don’t think their current role is developing their career) before building a solid, external, employer brand. Otherwise you're planting a tree where there isn't any soil, or having a good PR team for a half-decent business, or an even better lawyer for a first-degree burglar…guilty of robbing employees of a wholesome, professional experience!

Here’s how to get your team members more excited about sharing the openings at your company. Translated: Here’s how to get your team members to help you be even better at your job.

Meet with the team to identify, fix, and realign the employee experience and employee brand.

Find out where the team communication, management, and development is lacking and put practices in action to bridge the gaps.

Try these questions to start: 

  • Do employees understand what’s expected of them at work?
  • Do they feel their opinions and contributions matter?
  • Do they have the proper tools and resources for doing their job?
Get feedback from individual team members, if possible, or if your team is larger, meet with department heads to communicate the message to their teams.

Set goals, plan out a strategy, then break it down into practical, daily goals.

And be candid about it. Candidates and employees want to know where the company is headed and what it wants to achieve. Where does the organization hope to be in the next year? In the next five years? 10 years? There should be a general sense there are strategies and a management team in place to take the company that desired, next level, and that there’s a place for more candidates and the current team to fit in to build that road. Day-to-day tasks and projects make the larger goal appear more feasible, so encourage managers to share frequent feedback with their employees, and vice versa. Having an open, two-way channel for communication lets team members know their opinions are encouraged and matter. Also, keep in mind the power of recognition. Thank yous and good jobs go a long way.

Establish company values, a mission statement, and external messaging to pitch the organization and role.

If your company doesn’t already have a set of values or mission in place, we don’t advise you pull together a quick company-wide meeting to come up with one on the fly. If you do, however, be sure everyone on the team has a good understanding of what it entails – what’s important to the company, why what you’re doing matters (think bigger picture), who it takes to reach the team’s goals, and how each individual role has an impact on the company as a whole.

Values and a mission don’t necessarily have to be written down somewhere, but they should be communicated even before a candidate applies for a job, reiterated as soon as an employee starts their first day of work, and echoed through each day on the job.

Establishing external messaging means getting all employees familiar with the verbiage, phrasing the company uses to talk about its products, goods, and roles on the team. This is a basic practice in having consistent, uniform company branding and identity. Using a variety of text and phrases can make the team look disjointed and unprofessional.

Employees who are happy where they’re working and believe their job is developing their career goals are more likely to recommend your company to friends and colleagues, unless they’re cruel folks who want their buddies to be miserable. Get employees in line with the employer brand by building engagement internally, then using that as leverage to create an authentic identity for potential hires.

If you liked this post, we’ve got a whole webinar on this topic. Check out “How to Improve the Candidate Experience through Your Employer Brand” here!
how to improve your employer brand