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Employee advocacy tools: 12 ways to tell if you should invest

How to make employee advocacy a breeze
Employee advocacy tools

Employee advocacy is all the rage among talent acquisition circles, and for good reason. With so many companies and industries struggling to fill their recruiting needs, employee advocacy—a strategy that turns your employees into an army of ready advocates for your employer brand—is emerging as a timely strategy to meet those needs. We’ve talked in the past about employee advocacy in general, so today we’re gonna tackle a new topic: should you invest in an employee advocacy tool? How do you know when it’s time to invest?

Let’s dive in.

What is an employee advocacy tool?

Employee advocacy tools are exactly what they sound like: tools to help you manage and run your employee advocacy strategy so you can get the full benefits of an employee-amped brand presence without having to do everything all on your own. Since employee advocacy strategies often are designed to boost brand presence and awareness through employees’ online social networks, employee advocacy tools are often built with social media publishing and social media recruiting capabilities. They typically include features that help with creating content for employees to share on their own social channels, managing what gets posted and where, and seeing analytics of what’s working and what isn’t.

We’re going to get into ways to tell if it’s time to invest in an employee advocacy tool soon, but before we do, it’s helpful to highlight what we find the three pillars of a successful employee advocacy program are: quality, strategy, and ease.

  • Quality: An effective employee advocacy strategy shouldn’t be lazy. You want to make sure that the content your employees are posting about you are optimized according to social media best practices. That means with quality images (or videos), the right hashtags, and well-written captions.
  • Strategy: Employee advocacy might be a powerful recruiting strategy, but if your employees post the same post over and over again, it won’t be effective. You want to ensure that your employee advocacy content is strategically published by varying the frequency, style, and content of what is posted.
  • Ease: This is perhaps the most important point: you want to make sure that all the various stages of your employee advocacy strategy—ensuring the content gets published, that it follows the quality guidelines you set up, that it’s strategically posted—all happens with minimal effort for you and your employees. Otherwise you’ll find your employee advocacy efforts demanding far more time than you have to offer.

These three areas are the foundation of any successful employee advocacy program. So when it comes to assessing whether or not to invest in an employee advocacy platform, it actually becomes really simple: can you run an employee advocacy strategy that adheres to these three pillars without a tool, or can you not?

ULTA Beauty successful employee advocacy programs


An example of an employee advocacy post.

Here are some ways to tell that it might be time to start considering a tool.

Your employee advocacy program is taking too much of your time

This is the #1 reason why so many employee advocacy programs fail: they just take too much time to manage. HR and talent acquisition leaders are struggling as it is to keep up with the many challenges facing them. If employee advocacy starts demanding too much of your time, it just won’t be sustainable.

And the too-often chosen alternative—lowering and lowering the quality, reach, and efficiency of your employee advocacy program until it no longer demands too much of your time—isn’t a good solution, either. Like we’ve seen, an effective employee advocacy program needs to hit all three pillars of quality, strategy, and ease. Sacrificing one area for another isn’t a sacrifice you should be making.

So if your employee advocacy program is taking you way too long, it’s probably time to consider whether a tool can help with that.

Psst: Want to calculate how much time a tool could save you? Check out our free calculator here.

You’re having trouble sustaining your employee advocacy program

There’s a lot that goes into an employee advocacy program. You have to find your advocates. You have to create content guidelines for them. You have to get a feel for what type of content they’re comfortable posting and what they aren’t. You have to stay on top of ensuring that they actually post the content, and ensure that they follow the guidelines you set. And that’s just the basics. You’re also going to want to get a feel for what’s working and what isn’t, delete posts for filled roles, and ensure that not every employee’s content looks exactly the same.

That’s a lot—or at least, it is if done manually. Because, while employee advocacy can be a Herculean task when done manually, it becomes much, much simpler when powered by a tool.

You’re struggling to recruit

Recruiting is just getting harder, and if you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Maybe you’re trying to find more candidates, or perhaps you’re finding candidates but none of them feel like a good fit for the roles. Perhaps you’re finding tons of candidates but they just keep ghosting you once they end up in the interview stage. Whatever the case, if you’re struggling to meet a recruiting goal, investing a little more into employee advocacy can help.

Because here’s the thing: while employee advocacy can be done manually, the sheer breadth of features that employee advocacy tools offer ensures that a manual employee advocacy program will never be as effective as one powered by technology. So if you’re struggling with a recruiting goal, investing in an employee advocacy tool can give it just the boost you need to reach that goal.

You’re not happy with what or how often your employees are posting

It sounds great in theory: your employees are going to advocate for your employer brand by posting about how amazing your company is on social media. But then it comes to practice, and you’re not happy. Employees just aren’t posting as much as you’d like, or they’re posting so often, it looks like they’ve been hacked. They’re forgetting to upload pictures, or writing captions that are filled with mistakes or the wrong information, or posting about jobs and not adding the links.

These situations can make you feel powerless. You don’t want to start micromanaging your employees—that’s probably just going to kill any desire they have to be your advocates. But you also don’t have the resources to start creating and posting all your employees’ content for them.

With an employee advocacy tool, you can influence and in some solutions even control what gets posted to your employees account—including which platforms they get posted to, how often they get posted, and what that post looks like.

You’re struggling to boost your recruiters’ reach

Looking to boost your recruiters’ reach? Investing in an employee advocacy tool is a great way to do that. Recruiters are often more than willing to be your advocates on social media, but many times lack the time to effectively do so. Investing in an employee advocacy solution is an easy and effective way to turn your recruiters into an army of advocates without it taking anymore of their already-limited time.

An example of an employee advocacy post from a recruiter’s profile.

Your recruitment marketing is costing too much

Many talent acquisition teams are finding their recruitment marketing spend go up, especially as their recruiting needs keep growing. Candidates are getting harder to find, and many teams are forced to spend more and more on job boards and job ads just to stay competitive in the recruiting race.

But here’s the good news: not all recruitment marketing techniques are equal. While traditional recruitment marketing costs are climbing, organic recruitment marketing techniques like social recruiting and employee advocacy are staying low. Which means that by investing in an employee advocacy tool, you could be getting the same results—or better—as your current talent acquisition strategies, but at a far lower cost.

You’re not seeing results from your employee advocacy

Employee advocacy is effective—the studies are clear on that. Content posted by employees has been shown to get 8x more engagement than content posted to company profiles, get shared 24x more than company posts, and even boost your employee retention. Employee advocacy also acts as a testimonial for your employer brand (after all, your employees love your company so much, they’re posting about it), and drastically grows your reach by allowing you to tap into your employees’ networks.

So if you’re not seeing results from your employee advocacy, investing in employee advocacy software can help you identify where the issues lie as well as solve those issues. .

Any employee advocacy solution worth its salt will allow you to streamline repetitive tasks associated with content creation, content sharing, and keeping employee adoption and motivation high, in addition to strategically automating your employee advocacy efforts, as well as provide analytics so you can keep track of what’s working and what areas need a pivot.

You’re trying to stand out in a competitive talent market

Employee advocacy is a highly effective way to help with a competitive talent market. Social recruiting has been shown to help with even the most competitive of talent markets, and employee advocacy is like social recruiting on steroids. By posting to your recruiters’, hiring managers’, and employees’ profiles, you not only tap into a far wider network but also offer candidates a more authentic experience that has been shown to be 8x more effective than branded content alone.

Furthermore, employee advocacy helps companies grab candidates’ attention with the power of their employee networks and organic reach—a currency which is more powerful on social media than ad dollars, and helps you and your recruiters and hiring managers divide and conquer their recruiting outreach by reaching and targeting qualified local talent. By publishing the right employer brand and job content through the right recruiters’ and hiring managers’ profiles, you can focus the right candidate’s attention on their specific set of open jobs in their given territory or region.

We talked earlier about how a solution-powered employee advocacy program is going to be more effective than a manual one. Do you need that effectiveness? While in an ideal world the answer would be “Sure,” in practice, it depends on your recruiting needs.

If you’re finding recruiting a breeze, or if you’re not in a competitive talent market, you might be able to get by without that extra effectiveness. But if you are in a competitive talent market, investing in a tool will help you boost the reach, quality, and effectiveness of your employee advocacy, ensuring you continue to stay competitive.

You want to boost employee retention

Did you know that employee advocacy is an effective retention strategy? Being involved in an employee advocacy program boosts employee engagement, and engaged employees are employees more likely to stay. And for those employees who aren’t yet involved in an employee advocacy program, the fact that their coworkers are can influence them to become involved, as people are influenced by their peers and peer networks.

So if you’re struggling to retain employees, consider investing in an employee advocacy tool to help with employee engagement.

You want to boost candidate engagement

Candidates are people, and people want to engage with people more than they do with brands. Employee advocacy allows your recruiters and employees to engage with candidates on a more authentic and human level than you could from your company’s social media channels. And increasing candidate engagement has a direct impact on the quality of the candidates that come through your recruitment funnel and how fast they move through it.

By investing in an employee advocacy solution, you can boost both candidate engagement and increase the quality of your talent funnel faster and more efficiently. As BCD Meetings & Events shared with us, “I’m getting connection requests, I’m getting messages two or three times a week—more than I had ever seen before—and it’s all about, ‘Hey, I saw your post. It sounds like a great role. All the information was there, but tell me more, how can I be your top candidate?’ So CareerArc is helping us get that content out there and in front of the right people and they’re seeing it.”

You want to grow your existing base of employee ambassador and advocates

Even if you already have a solid base of eager employee advocates, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more employees willing to be your advocates. Studies show that 50% of your employees are willing to be your advocates, and that number climbs to 66% and 67% respectively for Gen Z and Millenials. The labor-heavy nature of a manually-run employee advocacy program means that even if you can successfully implement it, there isn’t a huge amount of room for growth.

If you’re looking to grow your existing base of employee advocates, an employee advocacy tool can help you with that.

You’re trying to boost the effectiveness of your employee referral program

Pairing an employee advocacy solution with an employee referral program is a great way to turn your employees into a recruiting army. Your employee referral program will incentivize them to be your advocates, and your employee advocacy solution will allow you to run the program with maximum efficiency and ease.

Talk about a match made in heaven.

Experience successful employee advocacy with CareerArc

Curious about what CareerArc’s employee advocacy solution looks like? It’s actually pretty simple, really. We ensure you’re both effortlessly and strategically automating your employee advocacy by auto syncing to your ATS, auto creating countless job and employer brand social media posts, each optimized according to social media best practices, and auto publishing to your employees’ social media accounts.

Social recruiting software CareerArc example

In other words: you can literally manage an entire employee advocacy program with the click of a button.

Want to learn more? Just click here to schedule your free demo.

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