Who are your brand ambassadors? 

Brand ambassadors are people who have the enthusiasm to vouch for your brand or promote your products or services - employees, ex-employees, customers, influencers or other people who volunteer to join the program. It’s however important to note that these programs are widely known as employee brand ambassador programs.

Brand ambassador programs are a collaborative effort between the organization and the brand ambassadors themselves.

The top benefits of brand ambassadors in recruiting

Reach potential candidates

Use the trust-worthy voices of your ambassadors to reach potential candidates on various forums or events, mainly social media, in a shorter period of time.

Reduce hiring time and costs

Employee brand ambassador programs are organic and drive waves of candidates towards your hiring efforts, positively impacting your hiring budget and time-to-fill.

Retain employees

Employee retention is more important than candidate attraction, spend-wise and brand-wise. The programs help reinforce the pride and privilege of being associated with you.

How to choose your employee brand ambassadors 

Brand Ambassador programs require structured effort, time and resources invested in them. To make the most out of it, you should be able to pick the right people to be your ambassadors. Anyone can be your ambassador. However you can pick a group of people to lead the wave, to set an example and model what an ambassador looks like to the others in your program.

You can find these north stars by asking yourself these questions:

Some of these things can be taught but if you recognize people who already have it, they can be the linchpins who help steer the program in the right direction.

Pro-tip: Do a values check! Do they share the same values as you or at least check if they have extremely conflicting values. For instance, let’s say you value diversity, you don’t want one of your ambassadors making a racist comment on their Facebook profile.

A 7-step plan to turning your employees into ambassadors

Define the objective of your brand ambassador program

The best place to start would be by understanding your immediate challenges or needs. What made you think about recruiting market efforts in the first place? - Are you not attracting enough candidates? Would you like to create more awareness about your employer brand? Are you organizing a referral drive? Or are you trying to turn around a negative perception about your brand? What is it?

The answers to questions such as these will help you narrow down to two or three top goals for your employee ambassador program.

Educate your ambassadors

After you agree on the goals for your program, the next step would be to choose your ambassadors and educate them. They need to understand the significance of the program, their role in it and impact that you are trying to drive. Leave no doubts uncleared. Clearly outline what efforts you’ll require from their side and the time frame of the experiment or drive.

This might also be the right place to re-emphasis who you are as an employer, your vision, mission and the means to achieve it because you expect them to ttranale it well to the world.

Design a training program

Make an estimate of all the skills the various stakeholders will require in the program and design an effective training program. The following are some examples:

  • Writing skills
  • Story-telling skills
  • Sales skills
  • Event hosting skills
  • Community engagement skills
  • Humor 
  • Domain expertise 
  • Engagement tracking skills
  • Social listening skills 
  • Basic designing skills 

You can either organize a one-time training program or do this in phases by hosting monthly or bi-monthly workshops. 

 

Create collaterals that people would love to share

The benefit of you creating the foundational collaterals is that you get to set the premise for the stories that are going to get told, you can ensure they are of good quality and it’s easier on your program ambassadors.

  • Make sure all your content pieces are telling a consistent story.
  • Create an easily accessible repository of shareable content that’s updated frequently.
  • Ask your employee ambassadors to suggest artifacts to create (Create a place where they can drop those ideas.)
  • Consistently be in the habit of doing things that’s worth sharing - It could be CSR activity, leadership programs, a new book club, an extraordinary candidate experience story - anything that brings out the amazing employer brand your company has.
Draft a simple Social Media policy

This could be as simple as do’s and don’ts in events, social platforms, forums or communities, etc. Communicate that the heart of the policy is to empower employee ambassadors to share their stories and knowledge with the world, without inhibitions.

 

Track and optimize the efforts and impact of ambassadors program

What does the success of your program look like to you? More engagement with your brand? More applications? More positive glassdoor reviews? More referrals? Whatever it is, you need a setup to track it. Drill-down and identify the key performance indicators and Invest in the right tools to track them.

Reward, recognize and celebrate

During the program, be thoughtful and don't just be obsessed with the numbers, celebrate the spirit of your ambassadors. Encourage and motivate them. Take efforts to call out significant contributions and reward the right people.