Read Part 1 of this series by visiting the Talent Circles Blog.
Brand ambassadors sometimes don’t get the credit they deserve. As I said in part one, brand ambassadors are the Robin to an HR recruiter’s Batman. In fact, they are probably unknowingly very similar to many of the unsung-hero sidekicks throughout history. They take their superheroes to a new level and support them as they venture into new opportunities, but sometimes their potential goes unrealized. Don’t let that be the story of your brand ambassadors. Make the most of all they have to offer your organization.
What can brand ambassadors do?
As a recruiter, you must cover both the long-term recruiting strategy and the short-term efforts, all at once. Brand ambassadors can greatly assist with the individual actions involved in each of those. They can help to spread the word about your company, reputation and open positions to the outside world. Their strengths lie in referrals of new employees for your organization and elevating your company culture.
Referrals are a major area of consideration for companies actively hiring new employees. In fact, The Handbook of Social Economics reports that 50 percent of workers say that a friend or family member referred them to their current job. Additionally, the majority of companies now have a referral program to harness the power of their brand ambassadors, which also saves a significant amount of time and money. Brand ambassadors are replacing all other recruiting methods as the most successful way to bring in new employees. There are so many benefits to hiring referrals, from saving 10-15 days per new hire, to increasing retention rates by more than 10 percent, that it’s no wonder why developing brand ambassadors is truly a worthwhile investment.
While some brand ambassadors are promoting your company without even knowing it, there are also some who are actively recruiting, typically for one of a few different reasons. The first is that they may be seeking incentive, such as a bonus offered through a referral program. Many companies offer anywhere from $50 to $1,500 for each successful new hire referred by a current employee, which provides a significant motivation for becoming a brand ambassador. The second is that hiring a new employee would benefit their work, for instance if a new employee in their department would take some of the workload off their shoulders. The third is that a new hire would benefit their career or benefit them socially. For example, there’s a certain pride that comes with recruiting the new rock star employee or being the friend that helped someone within his or her social circle land a great new job.
Elevating your culture
Brand ambassadors have a significant impact on employee morale, company culture and company reputation. Brand ambassadors are by their very nature passionate about the company they work for. Passionate employees are engaged employees who are willing to go the extra mile to see the company succeed. They encourage a culture of hard work, loyalty and success and offer a level of service to internal and external customers that cannot be taught, but comes from a desire to produce the best service or product so the company excels.
Brand ambassadors make a big difference in every area of the company because they are found all throughout, from administrative assistant to mid-level management to the CEO. No position is too small or large to benefit from being occupied by a brand ambassador. Overall, they save money and time, promote a positive reputation both inside and outside the company and care about your organization’s success.
Does your company hire a significant amount of referrals through brand ambassadors? Tell us how you your organization makes the most of your brand ambassadors in the comments section below.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs.