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Employee Advocacy Could Be Your Top Recruitment Marketing Strategy in 2024. Here’s Why.

Employee Advocacy Could Be Your Top Recruitment Marketing Strategy in 2024. Here’s Why.

Millennials and Gen Z are at the forefront of a remarkable shift in consumer behavior. The traditional landscape of recruitment marketing now faces an unprecedented challenge from these generations, who exhibit a marked reluctance to blindly trust a job posting. 

These cohorts, born into a world saturated with marketing messages, have developed a keen eye for discerning authenticity from manipulation. They are embracing a new paradigm—one driven not by flashy ads but by the collective voice of reviews and user-generated content. 

Studies indicate that nearly 70% of Millennials and an even more staggering 85% of Gen Z distrust traditional advertising. They’re wary of glossy campaigns that seem more focused on selling than informing. 

This disillusionment stems from a desire for authenticity and transparency, qualities often found in peer-reviewed content rather than scripted promotions. It’s a generation that craves real experiences and values the opinions of their peers, seeking guidance from those who have tested and experienced an organization’s employment culture firsthand. 

What does all this mean? Your most powerful talent attraction messages just might come from your own employees … not your marketing department. 

Understanding Brand Ambassadors vs. Natural Advocates 

Brand ambassadors are typically organization-designated individuals whose role involves promoting and defending their company. They’re guided, prompted, and usually trained by marketing to “speak the language” of the organization. In the past, this was sufficient and was received positively. But, today, as Millennials and Gen Z become more aware, these “organizational mouthpieces” are quickly losing their influence and becoming less relevant.  

However, natural employment advocates are organic supporters who genuinely believe in their organization and willingly advocate on its behalf—without training, without prompting, and using their own voice. They come to their organization’s defense when they read a comment that is false or misrepresents what they know to be true. Employment brand advocates see the mission and vision of the organization as something that personally aligns with their values. And, to this end, when the company is criticized or spoken about unfairly, they stand up for their truth.  

Understanding this distinction is pivotal in recognizing the value of a naturally positive work culture. 

It’s getting harder to recruit, and advertising can’t be your only answer.  

With unemployment rates reaching 50+-year lows, the battle for talent is a top priority for leaders across all industries. According to, “Rising to the top of the list of CEO concerns, retaining talent was the #1 concern identified by 59% of CEOs this year.”  

It’s never been more critical to identify and leverage every possible benefit when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. It’s time to focus on building an employment culture that encourages and empowers employee advocacy. 

What are the outcomes?

  • Retention Rates and Employee Satisfaction
    Research consistently demonstrates that organizations with a positive culture enjoy higher retention rates and increased employee satisfaction. A welcoming environment fosters loyalty and dedication, reducing turnover and associated recruitment costs.
  • Enhanced Productivity and Innovation
    A culture that nurtures positivity encourages creativity, collaboration, and innovation among employees. They feel more engaged, leading to higher productivity and a dynamic work atmosphere that fuels growth.
  • Cost Savings in Recruitment and Training
    Reducing turnover through a positive culture not only provides savings on recruitment expenses, but also minimizes the need for extensive training for new hires. This translates into substantial cost savings for the organization.
  • Impact on Revenue and Business Growth
    Studies indicate that companies with happy employees tend to outperform competitors. A positive culture correlates with increased customer satisfaction, thus boosting revenue and fostering sustainable growth. Need an example? In 2023, reported, “A study by Alex Edmans found that companies with high levels of employee satisfaction tend to outperform their competitors in the long run. In fact, a portfolio of companies ranked in the top 10% by employee satisfaction outperformed those ranked in the bottom 10% by 2.3% to 3.8% per year in stock returns.” Simplified, happy employees equate to better financials.  
  • Creating a Culture that Fosters Natural Advocacy
    Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping an organization’s culture. Encouraging open communication, recognizing achievements, and prioritizing work-life balance are strategies that cultivate a culture where employees willingly advocate for their workplace. Additionally, it’s important for organizations to ask questions and to listen actively to their team members. In today’s work environment, it’s more important than ever to understand the values and purpose with which your team aligns. Explore opportunities for them to give back to the communities where they work. Provide options for them to contribute in meaningful ways. For example, taking part in pride celebrations, coaching a youth sports program, participating in volunteer days to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, etc. All of this adds up to a culture where employees feel valued, heard, and, most importantly, appreciated. 

How do you build an employee advocacy program from scratch? 

Strengthening an employment culture and building natural advocates doesn’t happen overnight. It takes planning, a willingness to listen and change, and time. But there has never been a better time to start developing this essential tool for recruitment and retention success. Are you ready to take the leap? In my next blog, I will share my top 10 tips for getting an advocacy program off the ground. 

We’re here to help guide you into a better recruitment future. Let’s talk.  

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