How to Pitch Employee Advocacy to Human Resources

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Lauren Durfy

There’s a concept every great marketer understands and knows to think about when persuading audiences. In marketing shorthand it’s called the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?).

As human beings, we tend to look at things from our own point of view. That means before you can persuade anyone, you have to get their attention. The key to being relevant in your audience’s eyes is showing them what’s in it for them. Not talking about why you think it’s so great.

Implementing a new employee advocacy program to your Human Resources team is a marketing campaign of sorts. You can’t just expect people to immediately see things from your marketing point of view or to even understand your points at first. You need to educate them. You have to persuade HR to care by showing them it’s in their own direct best interest. That’s how you make everything go nice ‘n’ smooth. Easier said than done, right? Once you better understand the process, you’ll see how it can be done.

So, we’re going to take you through the most persuasive points of pitching an employee advocacy program to Human Resources. We’re going to show you how to speak their language, what to tell them to make them care, and how to make getting buy-in a no-brainer.

Where to Start Your Employee Advocacy Pitch

It’s important to start out strong in your conviction that an employee advocacy program truly benefits Human Resources, not just the marketing department. An employee advocacy program can be beneficial to the entire organization, but we will stay focused on our friends in HR and the particular challenges they’re facing in order to capture their interest.

And make no mistake, the Human Resources team is up against some stiff competition to recruit top talent. The key to getting their buy-in is to show them how employee advocacy can help them achieve the goals they already have in place. Not trying to change their goals. Just show them how social media advocacy can give them powerful, new tools to achieve their goals.

Know What Keeps HR Up At Night

According to a Morneau Shepell 2018 report on human resources trends, HR leaders identified three areas of focus. In order to align with the goals of HR departments, you need to understand their concerns. What keeps them up at night? In the Morneau Shepell report, HR execs identified their top three concerns as 1) Improving employee engagement (65%), 2) Attracting and retaining employees with the right skills (56%), and 3) Helping their organizations adapt better to ongoing change (55%).

That means Human Resources is under a lot of pressure to attract, engage and retain talent and help their organization thrive in 2018. The good news? Employee advocacy helps HR attain all of these goals by leveraging social media and the networks of their employees to attract talent, encourage engagement and promote company culture. Let’s take a look at a few of the specific benefits that will help HR accomplish their goals. Here’s the WIIFM for your HR colleagues…

Job Posts Get Increased Reach with Social Recruiting

It’s easier for people to trust people, preferably people they know through their network. Using employee advocacy, you can have large numbers of people reaching out to their peers to attract new talent. (Not just one recruiter.) 79% of job applicants now use social media in their job search so having a bigger reach on social generates more applications.

Employee advocacy and social recruiting programs can amplify job posts on a much larger scale than an organic post — plus, they often get better engagement than traditional job ads.

Get More Shares of Job Posts, and Measure Everything!

Many employee advocacy platforms offer gamification features that can help encourage content sharing among employees. The very best platforms also offer robust attribution tracking that makes social media referral easier to track. For HR, that means making it easier for them to know what content is performing well. They’ll also be able to tell which employee drove candidates to a job post.

Create Content Libraries that Make Sharing Safe & Fun

Since Human Resources are the keepers of company standards, it’s only natural they’ll have some misgivings. But encouraging social media actually leads to fewer social media hiccups, not more. It’s all about organizing your company’s efforts in a centralized library.

When you create a content repository for all internal updates as part of your employee advocacy program, you prevent misaligned messaging and out-of-date policies from getting out. And when people understand clearly what’s going on in an organization, it creates more transparency. People feel better about where they work, and HR doesn’t have to do so much work bolstering employee engagement. (Their number one concern.)

Rev Up Culture and Respond to Change

Create more pride within an organization with an employee advocacy program. Nearly 86% of employees in employee advocacy programs said their increased social presence had a positive impact on their career. Whether it helped them build their personal brand, thought leadership or even receive a monetary bonus for referral traffic, when people feel empowered to share, they’re more likely to feel good about themselves and their workplace.

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