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Show the Love: Building Brand Ambassadors One Employee at a Time
Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018

Right about now we’re being bombarded with images of happy couples in jewelry store commercials, walking down aisles filled with heart-shaped candies at the grocery store, and passing shelves stocked with teddy bears holding signs that say, “I love you”. It’s Valentine’s Day, folks. And whether you’re a romantic at heart or not, love is in the air.

But, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just for couples. For those companies that are aiming to boost their hiring process, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to showcase your employer brand. A company’s employer brand is the perfect way for employers to showcase what it’s like to work for their company to attract the right kind of talent, and to attract customers. In this age of transparency with social media and job boards like Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn that offer reviews from real employees, consumers want to work and buy from companies they respect, trust and believe in.

According to an iCIMS survey, 94 percent of job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively managers their employer brand online. Companies should take advantage of their best resource to highlight employer brand – current employees. Employees who love their job and are truly passionate about your company are already in the best position to showcase what it’s like to work there. Let’s take a look at how to build brand ambassadors and showcase their passion to attract the top talent your company needs for success.

Define Your Goals

More than half of today’s job seekers spend 1-4 hours researching companies before applying. For an employer to stand out and attract the right candidate, it needs to focus on employment brand now more than ever. But, what exactly are you trying to achieve? Take time to think about what you’re trying to accomplish before diving in.

Are you trying to increase your workforce by a certain percentage by the end of the year? Do you want to improve the candidate experience? Setting clear goals for the program will help ensure it runs smoothly from the start.

Pursue Passion

As is the case with many other types of relationships, when it comes to brand ambassadors, quality is more important than quantity. Having just five to ten brand ambassadors who can speak genuinely about why they love working at your company is stronger than 50 brand ambassadors who may not be truly interested in the success of the program.

But how do you identify those ideal candidates? Look to social media to see who is engaging with your company online. Try to find those employees who are not only engaging with your products and services but who seem genuinely enthusiastic about them. Another option is to take advantage of your recent hires by asking them to talk about their experience with applying for a job at your company. If potential candidates see that the experience you provide to job seekers is simple and painless, they’ll be more likely to consider applying for a job themselves.

Focusing on the candidate experience affects your corporate brand, too. Candidates who are satisfied with their experience are twice as likely to become a customer of the hiring organization compared to unsatisfied candidates. Encourage new hires to join your brand ambassadors and highlight the positive experience you’ve provided them from the time they initially connected with your company to their onboarding period.

Ensure Ambassadors are Engaged

Now I’m not talking about getting down on one knee and professing your love to your ambassadors with a shiny ring. When it comes to a successful brand ambassador program, make sure you understand what your employees love about their job and what their own goals and aspirations are. Just like you need to keep your candidates engaged and interested in your company, your brand ambassadors are no exception.

Consider private networking events for your brand ambassadors to give them access to company executives where they can share feedback on how they think the program is going. Or provide recognition opportunities at company meetings to highlight the program and the great work that the brand ambassadors are doing. Employees join these types of programs to widen their social circle and grow both professionally and personally. By providing these types of opportunities, you’re creating a more sustainable community with a wide reach that will not only impact your employer brand, but your overall corporate brand, as well.

Communication is Key

The overall goal is to build the program into the organization so that it becomes a natural part of employees’ days and not something that falls into the “one and done” category. Technology and talent are CEOs’ top two business priorities — executives want to know that their employees are happy and engaged and that they want to contribute to the success of the company. Communicate the successes of the program to the team and to leadership regularly. Start small with quick emails and then move into more of a formal cadence to update everyone on the great work that’s being done.

In time, the program should help move your corporate culture to a culture that truly values employees and sees the enormous impact that employees have on the organization.