After you’ve identified your company’s Customer Value Proposition (CVP), and understand the difference between how potential candidates perceive your company and what you want them to think, it’s important to take charge and implement your employer branding plan.
Amongst all of your branding elements lies the idea of generating employment buzz. This motivates your employees to share their enviable work experiences with their friends - through social media networks. The influence of employment buzz lies in social media’s seductive power of envy as well as in showing company fit with potential applicants, that is, the friends of your employees and your surrounding community. The Next Web discusses how this trend can drive brand recognition: when your employees post photos, videos or descriptions of a positive work experience, their social media networks get an infectious whiff of what they could have if they worked for your company.
How to Create Employment Buzz?
The onus is on you, as the employer, to give your employees something to talk about about and creating an environment that prospective hires would want to work at – from a culture, value and corporate responsibility standpoint. Get your employees so excited about their workplace that they will naturally want to show off their experiences with their social networks. Get your community excited about your corporate initiatives that people will want to contribute your company’s affairs and in turn become a company employee.
To that effect, I want to share three approaches toward achieving employment buzz in your workplace.
1. Video Challenges
Creating and encouraging video challenges boosts employee morale with fun games and encourages a more unified workforce. More than that, it provides each employee with something tangible and ready-made to post on their social media networks and for the employer to post on You Tube, their career site, their Facebook fan page and more. It allows your employees to “show-off” their creations, and gives you an automatic platform from which to brand your company.
Businesses across the world have embraced this method. One great example was Deloitte’s 2007 employee creative videochallenge. The winning videos were uploaded onto the Deloitte career site and YouTube page. Verint’s Israeli branch launched a “Pass the Envelope” challenge earlier this year (the introduction explaining the instructions is in Hebrew, but the underlying message speaks for itself). Three minutes worth of employees’ clips were edited into one innovative video.
2. Recreational Events
Office retreats, team-building events and other work-sponsored recreational activities expose employees to a different face of their workplace. These programs get them out of the cubicles and into more informal settings, where they can engage with their co-workers and managers not as colleagues, but as ‘real’ people. Away from their familiar surroundings, spending the afternoon playing laser tag instead of updating Excel sheets, employees will naturally want to brag about their experiences to their friends – and the best place to reach multiple friends at once are, no surprise, through one’s social media networks.
3. Company’s Social Awareness
It’s not always about creating envy in order to draw people to your company. Often times it is the values that your company upholds. Company-backed charity causes, environmental programs and tolerance campaigns can also create employee enthusiasm and motivate them to share their experiences with their social media networks. For example, employee participants in Verint’s Next Generation Program run in charity marathons, participate in food drives and work with at-risk children. They can use social media to appeal for sponsors, invite their friends to join them, or post video clips of media event coverage (“Hey guys, Channel 4 news covered this awesome food drive my company had – check out my interview at 2:54!”).
In addition, programs like these add the appealing feature of social awareness to your company’s branding message.
Target – http://youtu.be/od2AUydst1o
Why should you Create Employment Buzz?
Switching jobs, especially for passive candidates, is a big step. Aside from the obvious considerations of job requirements and salary, candidates want to be sure that their manager-to-be doesn’t turn into a fire-breathing dragon every Monday and Wednesday at 11:00 AM. As Kevin Wheeler puts it, candidates want to know that their potential employers genuinely “care for their employees, treat them with respect, [and] provide development and career opportunity.” Who better to get the ‘real story’ from than a company’s employees? Employees are objective witnesses to day-to-day activities who will tell it like it is – whether you like it or not. As such, you want to make sure that everything your employees have to say attests to your excellent employment track record.
Creating a positive and exciting workplace environment strengthens the company culture and encourages employees’ work activity. As a recent Gallup report explains, “engaged employees” are simply better workers. Motivated by a company’s high regard for their employers, employees are more driven, have higher productivity rates and are less inclined to quit.
Fostering good opinions about your company amongst your employees, and creating enough buzzworthy content that they will want to share their experiences with their social networks, will draw the attention of potential candidates. While it is true that you do not have direct control over what/how/if your employees talk about their work-related experiences on their social media networks, the examples we brought above prove that it can be done, and should be encouraged. And in addition to harnessing your employees’ creativity and leveraging their social networks, these initiatives also strengthen your internal culture.
Because social media is so fast-paced, and your employees’ posts won’t show up in anyone’s news feed after a week, be sure to document the videos, photos and employee experiences on your career website. Make sure to include short blurbs of the events, and first-person employee accounts. To see what else you should include on your careersite, check out our list of essential features here.
Readers: how has your company created its own employment buzz? We want to hear your experiences – please share your experiences below!