Employee Generated Content (EGC) can be the most trusted and valuable asset you have to build employer brand equity—if collected and used the right way. It’s also integral recruitment marketing content that can be used to nurture candidate leads, shared on social media and featured in job descriptions and on your career site.
The key? Invite all employees to tell their professional stories in their own words. Make the conversation about your organization completely and boldly transparent. Showcasing employees brings in more of the right candidates at the top of the recruiting funnel, as it (1) highlights what’s true, making it easier for the right people to opt in (and for the wrong people to opt out), and (2) establishes your company as one where people are trusted by leadership to do the jobs they were hired to do.
While being seen as trusting may have strong appeal, the reality is that the idea of giving every employee the opportunity to speak candidly to the market can be frightening to corporate leaders. What will employees say? Brand Amper’s results show these fears to be unfounded: when a boldly transparent approach is taken to capturing EGC, employees’ voluntary use of approved messages often hits 100%, and in many cases, employees combine two or more company messages into something new that the company hadn’t thought of before. Hardly results worth fretting over!
Bold transparency can also build employee engagement: with email open rates of 70% or more, and the ratio of employees participating in programs in the 30-50% range, Brand Amper has found massive demand amongst employees for boldly transparent communications.
To get transparency right:
- Don’t use corporate-speak. Asking employees to parrot the PR department can make people feel like billboards and signals that the company doesn’t trust employees to speak in their own voice. This can erode engagement and push candidate conversations into unofficial channels where the company can’t influence them.
- Give first, give big. (Ask later.) Before asking employees to advocate for the company, give them the brand and show them how to use it to make themselves look better. You might not know if an employee cares about promoting the company, but you can be sure that employee cares about looking good himself! Help the employee create a halo effect for himself by leveraging the company’s existing brand investments.
- Pull, don’t push. Where will your best content come from? Who are your advocates? Companies can spend months (and plenty of political capital) engaging who they think will be their best advocates… or they can openly invite all employees to participate in creating EGC and see for themselves who rises to the top.
- Make everything opt-in. People love a little freedom—but too much of it can be overwhelming. Give employees the freedom to opt in to creating EGC, and then give them examples and guidelines to help them envision success. Nearly every time, they’ll appreciate both the freedom to choose for themselves to engage, as well as the guidelines that will keep them safe.
- Read everything. Read every bit of EGC that employees create! You may be shocked at how rich the insights are, and how amazingly talented your employees are. You’ll certainly save a bundle on marketing agency fees by having employees create content!
Like what you’re reading? Find 36 more amazing ideas for strengthening your Employer Brand in Smashfly’s 2016 Recruitment Marketing Ideabook.