“Korn Ferry”, an international organizational management company, estimates that by 2030, the lack of talent will reach more than 82.5 million employees. This would result in more ten $8.5 trillion of income that could have been but probably won’t be generated. There are a few reasons for such a lack of talent both globally and locally – decreasing birth rate, increasing gig economy, changing dynamics in the labor market – the number of vacancies has surpassed the number of talents. It is obvious – the problem of attracting talents is not to disappear soon. But what can organizations do to ensure further sustainable growth?
We notice that more and more organizations realize that strengthening the employer brand should be viewed strategically instead of just making some ad hoc actions. Searching for sustainable ways to attract talents from the outside, companies now look at their own employees – internal talents who have the great power of reach and credibility.
But where is the magic of employee advocacy? Today, people base their choice of employers not only on salary, additional benefits, pristine offices, and summer festivals but also on internal organizational culture and its mission. And who else than current employees can reveal the company culture via their personal communication channels? So, how do we empower employees to make sure they attract the attention of other talents?
Nurturing the internal organizational culture
Peter Drucker, one of the most famous management consultants, has once said a now-legendary phrase: culture eats strategy for breakfast. Simply put, this means that even the most perfect strategy won’t work if the team members aren’t unified and don’t believe in the organization they represent. To empower employees, it is essential to ensure strong organizational culture. Consistent internal communication, empowered employees, and values that aren’t just written on paper but also live in people’s heads are some of the most crucial elements that can strengthen the organizational culture.
Looking for employees willing – and able – to share
Another important element when strengthening employee advocacy is engaging the employees that are willing to do it. Who should decide which employees are to become the ambassadors? In some companies representatives from marketing and HR departments responsible for the program, choose the employees themselves. In other situations, all volunteers are welcome. The latter method allows to discover hidden talents, but it doesn’t mean it is the only good one. What matters is that employees are motivated to spread the message about their organization – the organization they respect, appreciate and are proud of because that is the only way to make sure the messages are authentic, positive, and attractive to others.
Courses and guidelines
Courses taught by the company’s own employees or external consultants can help attract team members. But to make sure the engagement is long-term, it is worth repeating the courses, or at least collectively remembering the most important parts each quarter.
Guidelines can also help the ambassadors remember the most important topics and main communication instructions. However, they shouldn’t become strict rules – it is better to look at the guidelines as if they were an inspiring document showcasing the endless angles of communication. We also recommend supplementing the guidelines with examples related directly to employer branding.
Today, means of external motivation are getting more and more popular. These include tickets to a cinema, dinners in nice restaurants, and the organization’s merchandise. And sometimes it really works, but, first of all, the ambassadors must be motivated internally. However, it is still worth experimenting with external motivators. Although, before implementing them, we recommend performing a quick survey or a focus group of the employees to find out their opinion on the things you had in mind.
Today, strengthening the employer brand becomes a strategic part of sustainable growth and increased competitiveness of an organization. Even though each organization should look for its unique way of attracting talents, the experience of “Persona Cognita” clients tells us that the use of certain tools, motivation, knowing your why and consistent employee advocacy helped many organizations win the competition for talent attraction.
You may find this article in the Lithuanian language here.