Workplace culture advocacy has been gaining momentum over the past few years as an incredibly effective means of amplifying employee voices, strengthening transparency and recruiting purpose-aligned talent. Recruitment tech giants like LinkedIn and social media platforms like Hootsuite have added advocacy interfaces that make it easier for companies to empower employees to share experiences and moments.
IBM recently reported that leads developed through employee advocacy convert seven times more frequently than other leads. Content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared by brand channels, according to Social Media Today. And, employees of socially engaged companies are more likely to stay at their company, feel optimistic about their company’s future and believe their company is more competitive.
Building focused support for talent advocacy can also reinforce active, vocal allyship to heighten belonging and psychological safety at your organization.
So much of inclusion and diversity is about how employees feel when they are at work. Employees who engage in advocacy have an opportunity to share stories based on their unique professional experiences that can help other members of the workforce. It also provides a channel for employees from privileged backgrounds to signal boost stories and messages from colleagues in the spirit of allyship.
Despite the clear benefits, both cultural and tactical, in investing in employee advocacy, many employers struggle to understand where to start. Additionally, HR strategy teams are often met with concern from stakeholders about brand integrity and managing messages.
An AI firm based in Toronto, integrate.ai, undertook the challenge of creating a Talent Magnet program that provided support and learning to participants while enabling them to share stories and culture information that felt meaningful on a personal level.
“The way we work at integrate.ai is driven by an openness to new ideas and creating safe spaces for innovation. The best way to communicate that to our current and future candidates is through the voices of our current team members. The key messages we uncovered through the development of our Talent Magnet Program are a starting point for our cultural advocates to create meaning through their unique integrate.ai experiences.” - Rachel Jacobson, Chief People Officer, integrate.ai
integrate.ai began by allowing team members to opt-in to the Talent Magnet Program. This is a critically important stage - authentic advocacy comes from a place of genuine interest and passion. Employees should always have the opportunity to choose if they want to become a cultural advocate. Once an initial group of integrate.ai advocates were identified, the discovery sessions began. Participants received training on personal branding and one-on-one interviews took place to help uncover their unique Talent Magnet identity.
A Talent Magnet (or advocate) identity is an important tool in cultivating focused value for you and your network. In essence, it’s an individualized set of interests, a tone of voice and an outreach approach that, over time, creates a signature presence within a specific talent network. Talent Magnets at integrate.ai created their identities around who they are as people and as professionals. Content focused on personal connection to a shared purpose and finding fulfillment and integrate.ai through the lens of their passions.
Meet the integrate.ai Talent Magnets
Focus areas: Inclusive innovation, socially conscious artificial intelligence, driving change through diverse perspectives
"People might smirk at social entrepreneurship, but my personal mission is to push for success within that model through the work my team and I do at integrate.ai. We are working in the centre of the storm, building and revolutionizing. I am excited to be able to share our stories and continue working with this incredible team."
Focus areas: Continuous learning, development and mentorship, creating human-centric AI solutions.
"I get really excited about identifying a human need and having an empty canvas to create a technical solution. I love teaching. I love helping people grow. Through an open culture at integrate.ai, I'm able to combine these passions and share my experience within our organization and beyond."
integrate.ai experienced quick and impactful results through the Talent Magnet program, particularly on LinkedIn. Heightened post engagement and even proactive interest from top candidates can be expected once cultural advocates are activated.
The important thing to remember: continuous, sustained engagement is required to see continuous, sustained results. The best way to enact a Talent Magnet program is to start slow and begin to carve a presence through valuable, methodical engagement with your social network.
Monitor results with program participants - examine how content engagement changes over time. Track candidates that come to you through talent magnet content. Pulse check with participants to understand how/if their activities have made a difference to their personal brand. Take stock of the program growth and whether new program participants are putting up their hands to become Talent Magnets. Take a look at Glassdoor (and similar) ratings to see if there is causality between advocacy and rankings. There are many ways to measure program effectiveness.
Employers like integrate.ai have begun the journey of investing in future pipelines by amplifying employee experiences and voices. For more information on how to jumpstart your talent advocacy program, visit https://www.driftemployerbrand.com/active-advocacy