How to Make Employees Your Brand’s Social Ambassadors

Companies all over are finding innovative ways of using social media to entice and recruit staff. But for some businesses in China, traditional methods have brought less satisfactory results, especially when it came to reaching western expats. To try to bridge the hiring gap, the China division of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu introduced a “virtual office tour” on Weibo, the preferred local social networking site. Potential candidates could pay virtual visits to the company’s offices in Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai, and chat with existing employees. The game leveraged existing employees as social ambassadors, attracting tens of thousands of visitors, and allowing the company to build up a sizeable database of potential talent.

Not every business can (or should) be expected to create an online game for its recruiting purposes. But social recruiting doesn’t have to be that complicated. At Deloitte in The Netherlands, social networking is a major part of its recruiting strategy. The company uses its career website as the focal point for its social networking activities, and breaks it down into three different categories: professional, young professional, and student. This way, the company can target content to job candidates at different stages in their careers.

Recruiting at a job fair? You’ll be more successful if you bring along happy, engaged employees to compliment your HR team. Flickr/IntelFreePress

Next, current employees are engaged to act as brand ambassadors through social media. In one scheme, bloggers are recruited from within the company to write about work-related topics, their day-to-day experiences, and how their work makes them feel. Employees with Twitter feeds are also asked for permission to retweet via official channels, and to share their Tweets on the Deloitte career website.

Another strategy involved setting up an employer branding campaign aimed at students and young professionals. Employees were invited to upload photographs with a specific theme related to the company logo. Submissions were judged on creativity and number of views. At the end, the winner was awarded a new iPhone. Within a five-week period, employees uploaded 55 photos and received a total of 15,500 views. Staff posted the resulting content on their own Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, which helped to generate a positive buzz and promote the brand to thousands of potential new recruits.

With nearly a billion users around the world, Facebook is by far the largest of the major online social networks. In addition to your business Facebook page, which you can leverage for recruiting, Facebook offers a few other tools with great potential. The Facebook/Oodle Marketplace, for example, allows you to post job openings for free. Facebook Ads, meanwhile, can be targeted to precisely the type of candidate you want to hire.

In the same way that you can solicit employee participation with Facebook, you can also target employee connections with LinkedIn. Many of these will turn out to be ideal candidates for vacancies within your organization.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of the major social networking platforms—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and anything that’s popular in your region or industry—you are limited only by your imagination. With the right ideas, you can leverage your employees as social ambassadors, for free, with very little additional effort.

You have to walk before you can run. Before you ask for social ambassadors for your brand, make sure your employees are happy and engaged. Start using TribeHR today.

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