When you’re looking to attract top talent to your hospitality organization, you have one powerful resource at your fingertips: your current employees.
That’s right—your existing team members can spread the word about your open positions, highlight your positive company culture, share content you’re creating, and generally elevate your company reputation as a great place to work.
How do you make that happen? You need to start by building a strong employer brand and then using different tactics to get your employees excited about sharing their experiences at work. When you do that, your existing team members turn into passionate and enthusiastic employer brand ambassadors.
What Are Employer Brand Ambassadors?
Employer brand ambassadors are employees who promote your hospitality company as a great place to work.
They could do this in several different ways, whether sharing content on social media, referring friends to your open hospitality positions, or even just talking casually about your organization in other conversations. They might be part of a formal ambassador program you put together or simply highly-engaged employees who share their experiences without any prompting.
Here’s the simplest way to think about it: Employer brand ambassadors are excited about their jobs and your company, and they want to share that with other people. It’s word-of-mouth marketing at its finest.
Why Do You Need Employer Brand Ambassadors?
A lot of the responsibility of crafting a strong employer brand falls on your shoulders as the business owner, manager, or human resources professional. However, leaning on your employees to spread the word leads to several benefits, including:
- Greater reach: When your employees actively promote your hospitality company as a great place to work, you have the potential to reach other talent and candidates who might not have known about your organization otherwise. As a result, you can get better-quality applicants for your open roles.
- Boosted authenticity: When you’re about to purchase something, do you check out the reviews first? Job applicants are similar. They want to hear what it’s really like to work for your organization—ideally from the people who already work there. One study from Linkedin found that job candidates trust current employees three times more than the company itself when it comes to getting credible information about a company.
- Better recruitment marketing: It’s nearly impossible to have an employer brand that doesn’t involve and showcase your employees. When you have enthusiastic employer brand ambassadors, you can use their experiences and stories to craft far more impressive recruitment marketing materials.
Needless to say, employer brand ambassadors shouldn’t be considered something that’s “nice to have.” If you want to strengthen your employer brand and attract more top talent, then your employees need to play a role in promoting your organization.
How Can You Transform Hospitality Employees Into Employer Brand Ambassadors?
You’re bound to have this question: How do you make that happen? Here are a few strategies to turn your hospitality employees into employer brand ambassadors.
1. Start a Referral Program
One of the best ways to encourage employees to promote your organization and employer brand is to incentivize them to do so. That’s where a referral program comes in.
In general, it works like this: You ask employees to refer their friends or other connections to work for you. If you hire one of their recommendations, they receive a monetary bonus.
This type of program is remarkably effective. 82% of employers rate employee referrals above all other sources for generating the best return on investment and these referrals can save a company over $7,500 (about 6.000€) per hire.
So, come up with a bonus amount you’re comfortable with and tell your employees that they can get a reward for referring somebody they know. It’s a straightforward way for them to evangelize your brand (and get something in return).
2. Include Employees In Your Recruitment Materials
Remember when we mentioned that your existing employees can benefit your recruitment materials? That only works if you include them.
Ask your current team members some questions and get their permission to use their responses as testimonials on your website or other profiles. Ask if they’d want to write a blog post about their experiences. Or allow them to take over your social media accounts for a day.
That only scratches the surface—there’s plenty more you could do. For example, METRO features existing employees in short videos about its organization. It leads to highly-engaging content that’s simultaneously authentic.
3. Make It Easy to Share Company Information
If you really want to make it easy for employees to share information about your hospitality organization, open positions, and company happenings, you need to make it easy for them to do so. Here are a couple of ways you can make that happen:
- Create some scripted social media posts that they can easily copy and paste to their accounts.
- Tag them in social media posts that they appear in, as that will make them more inclined to engage or share.
- Send out alerts about new open positions and give them the job description so they can share it with their networks.
Those are just a few ideas. The point is that you need to equip your employees with the information they need to promote your company—they likely aren’t going to invest a ton of legwork on their own.
4. Request Honest Reviews
53% of job seekers look for company information on job search and review sites like Glassdoor. Unfortunately, you don’t always have a ton of control over what reviews get left there. Still, you can give a more complete picture of your employer brand by explicitly asking your existing employees to leave reviews on those sites.
If you choose to do this, make sure you send this request to all of your employees rather than hand-selecting the ones you think will leave glowingly positive reviews. You want to keep this fair and authentic.
You can also incentivize employees to leave a review by providing a small reward or prize. Again, make sure you reward their participation rather than the quality of the review—you shouldn’t pay for good reviews alone.
There’s a lot that goes into attracting top talent to your organization and your open roles, but your current employees definitely need to play a role. Use this as your guide to transform your team members into enthusiastic employer brand ambassadors, and you’ll build a far more impressive and authentic employer brand.
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