Why Your Next Best Hire Will Come From Social Media

Lauren Durfy

As anyone in talent acquisition can tell you, finding top talent can be a struggle. Talent sourcing and recruitment departments are under tremendous pressure as talent and skill shortages are widespread and competing to hire the best-of-the-best is a challenge.

In addition to the obvious fact that the role must be a good fit, those in demand are looking for employers whose brand aligns with their own personal and professional values. If you haven’t developed a strong employer brand, you risk being overlooked by top talent.

Luckily, there’s a solution to the problem: social media advocacy.

Social media advocacy is a great way to showcase your employer brand, company culture, and open positions. By using the networks of your employees, you can ensure your brand is visible, memorable and authentic.

Here’s what you need to know about social referrals, and why they can be a powerful part of your hiring process.

Why Social Media Advocacy Works

Social media can be a powerful tool for employer branding.

Because the messages shared by your employees are seen as authentic (no one who hates their employer would encourage their network to join that organization), people are more receptive to these messages. In fact, 70 percent of adults report trusting recommendations from friends and family, while only 15 percent trust a company’s social media posts.

As they say, talent knows talent, and leveraging these talented and well-connected employees is an excellent way to ensure you only hire those who will be a good fit.

Social media employee advocacy is also beneficial for employees. Offering rewards or compensation for social referrals encourages employees to share, while employee advocacy platforms simplify the sharing process.

Social Media Advocacy, by the Numbers

Still wondering how effective social media advocacy can really be? Here are a few employee advocacy statistics to chew on:

  • 78 percent of job seekers say employee ratings and reviews are influential in their job hunt. When it comes to the decision-making process, would-be employees want help from their network. Because of this, applicants who have a friend who works with (and recommends) your organization are more likely to apply.
  • Brand messages are re-shared 24x more when distributed by an employee. Social advocacy is a great way to help your social messages go further, faster. As it stands right now, company branded messages reach 561 percent further when they’re shared by employees rather than branded channels.
  • Interest in employee advocacy has grown 191 percent since 2013. Today, 45 percent of respondents make it a top external objective in their marketing strategies, and this number is only projected to grow in coming years.
  • 33 percent of employees post social messages about their place of work without employer encouragement. This is a good indication that happy workers are very willing to participate in social advocacy. This is backed by further statistics — about 21 percent of current employees are estimated to be employee advocates, while an additional 33 percent have the potential to become advocates.
  • Only 10 percent of managers have a structured social advocacy program in place. This is despite the fact that more than 50 percent of managers report recognizing the value of employee advocacy! While this is bad news for all the hiring managers missing out on potential great candidates, it’s a great thing for those who want to jump into social advocacy to gain a competitive advantage.

Social Advocacy Creates Stronger Employer Branding

As you can see, social media employee advocacy programs help showcase your employer brand and circulate open positions to those qualified and “good-fit” individuals. This is essential when it comes to awareness and retention.

As any hiring manager knows, onboarding, training, and employing good workers is expensive. Unfortunately, one-third of new hires leave voluntarily within their first six months of employment. According to Harvard Business Review, the cost to replace these employees is about 50 to 75 percent of the new hire’s first-year salary, so it goes without saying that employee retention is in the company’s best interest.

Employee social media advocacy helps build your employer brand, find good-fit candidates for your open positions, and reward those employees who help in the hiring mission.

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