Next Practice: Add Employee Reflections to Employee Referrals
Done well, employee referral programs leverage the social media and other contacts of an organization’s workers to connect with high caliber, passive prospects. In most cases, however, the resulting outreach is narrowcast to the specific subset of individuals appropriate for a particular opening. While this approach does often generate applicants, it significantly underutilizes employee connections. Using a broadcast technique called “employee reflections,” touches all of an employee’s connections and thus provides an effective supplement to employee referral programs.
Employee reflections describe a program of career field specific content generated by select employees of an organization. It is based on the ongoing move to supplement traditional advertising with what’s called sponsored content.
According to a recent article in The New York Times, “In recent years, publications large and small have invested in teams to make sponsored content – written stories, videos, podcasts that look and feel like journalistic content – hoping to make up for declines in conventional advertising.”
Unlike commercial sponsored content, an employee reflections program is more narrowly defined as “blog posts, videos and podcasts that provide career field information or insight as a supplement to traditional recruitment advertising.” In employee reflections, that content is authored by an organization’s employees for the purpose of promoting the organization to that employee’s social media and other contacts.
How Does It Work?
Employee reflections isn’t a one-off initiative, but rather an ongoing, monthly publication of employee-generated content that promotes both their individual brand and the company as a center of excellence in a specific career field.
Clearly, the program isn’t for every organization or even for every career field for which an organization recruiters. But for highly competitive demographics and mission critical openings, it provides a way to “advertise” an employer in a distinctive and engaging way – it sets the organization apart as a place where top talent can work with other top talent and thus advance their career.
The best way to implement an employee reflections program is to make it competitive among a select group of employees. Position it as a contest for high performing employees in key demographics your organization needs to recruit. The contest will determine who will be offered the chance to author a piece of career enhancing content that the organization will publicly promote and the individual will distribute to their network contacts.
Contest winners should be selected based on the submission of an outline for content that demonstrates their expertise and insight in their field. While they retain the copyright for the content, they must agree that the final product will include a footer that recognizes its publication by their employer and provides a link to the career page on its website.
Why would an organization’s top employees participate? Implemented effectively, the program offers three benefits to those who are selected:
• They will be given time on-the-job to author content that is professionally advantageous, offering them a way to enhance their own brand.
• They will be able to distribute that content to their own social and professional networks and see it distributed even more broadly through their employer’s networks; and,
• In recognition of their selection as a sponsored content author, they will receive appropriate recognition in their next performance appraisal and an appropriate bump in their next salary review.
Employee reflections obviously requires time and effort to implement, but so too does any well run employee referral program. The return on that investment is a more expansive outreach to the kinds of candidates employers find most appealing – those top performers in the networks of their own employees.
Thanks for reading,
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Apres launched as a new job market serving women who opted out of their careers for whatever reason and now want to opt back in. It will offer full and part-time positions as well as consulting projects and even pro bono work. It joins Fairygodboss, a kind of Glassdoor for women, in targeting career-minded moms – a term that used to be an oxymoron, but is fast-becoming an accepted and valuable part of the world of work.
Crowded.com raised $3.3 million for its site that serves gig workers. What makes it different? First, it’s a mobile platform designed from the ground up as a job search tool for people interested in hourly and part-time opportunities. Second, workers upload a profile which the site then verifies to confirm their eligibility for specific job requirements. Third, to reinforce their loyalty, the site also offers users training and assessments to enhance their competitiveness.
Indeed has just announced a new mobile app called JobSpotter. It uses crowdsourcing to photo local Help Wanted signs in store windows and make the openings available to job seekers as they stroll the sidewalks of their local burg. To get folks to play along, the company hands out points toward monetary gift cards for those uploading the signs.
Recruitology, the company formerly known as AfterCollege.com, has acquired Cross-Post Classified Networks. In yet another example, of the “big boxification” of the talent acquisition solutions industry, Recruitology is adding the network’s job seeker audiences at The Seattle Times, ImpreMedia and 200 other media companies to its platform for applicant tracking, analytics, and intelligent job ad targeting.
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