When it comes to the job hunt, what candidates want from employers hasn’t really changed; however, what they do want is their specific questions answered about what it’s like to work for a company in the specific role they’re applying for.
While employers have long recognized that the best way to provide these answers is through the use of employee generated content (EGC), up until recently, two major issues have blocked most employers’ from using EGC to its full potential: 1) not knowing what questions candidates want to be answered and/or 2) not empowering their employees to answer these questions in an authentic, unfiltered way.
To learn how companies are leveraging technology to help them overcome these challenges and to better understand what candidates are looking for when it comes to company content and EGC, we sat down with 3 experts in the field:
- Chris Woods, Employee Reputation & Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Mars;
- John Taylor, Talent Brand Manager, Global Talent Brand and Innovation at Micron and
- David Rivel, Co-founder of PathMotion.
We discussed what technology deserves a spot in your EGC toolkit, how to make sure you’re answering the right questions for candidates, how to change your company’s culture from the top-down to be more EGC friendly, how to tailor your EGC to cater to high-priority talent audiences and so much more that you can use to upgrade your talent acquisition and Recruitment Marketing strategy.
But before we get into all of that, let’s meet our experts.
Rally note: To hear from the experts themselves, you can catch our webinar on demand: Employee Content Creators, a new phase of EGC.
Meet the experts
Chris Woods, Employee Reputation & Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Mars
Chris Woods is an Employee Reputation & Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Mars where he helps talent from all over the world discover new careers through digital, social, associate advocacy and EVP practices.
John Taylor, Talent Brand Manager, Global Talent Brand and Innovation at Micron
John Taylor is the Talent Brand Manager of Global Talent Brand & Innovation at Micron where he engages people across the globe and educates them about his company, industry and the unique people involved.
David Rivel, Co-founder of PathMotion
David Rivel is the Co-founder of PathMotion where he helps organizations show what makes their company a unique place to work to attract the talent they deserve and help candidates make more informed career decisions.
The role of technology in the new phase of Employee Generated Content
Advancements in Recruitment Marketing technology are helping companies to fix the most common roadblocks getting in the way of effective EGC.
For example, inspired by his own experience job hunting, David co-founded the platform PathMotion specifically to help candidates meet and talk to people in companies they’re interested in. Through these types of platforms, candidates no longer have to rely on random answers provided on review sites, for example; they can now connect directly with employees to get their exact questions answered.
These kinds of EGC platforms are also helping inform employers about the types of questions they should be trying to answer in their content, through EGC and otherwise. For example, by leveraging a platform like PathMotion that has an always-on Q&A functionality, you can track top discussions and questions on a weekly basis to understand what topics candidates want to know more about and then optimize your content strategy accordingly. Based on what you’re seeing, you can even go more granular and optimize your content to suit specific stages of the candidate journey, candidate backgrounds, locations and characteristics.
But if that seems overwhelming, don’t worry; based on internal research, David suggests addressing basic candidate concerns in your EGC as a start, including:
- interview tips
- career advice
- day-to-day employee life
- company info
- company benefits
- internal career mobility
- career progression
- job description
- work-life balance
However, just addressing the right topics is no longer enough to win over candidates through your content — there needs to be a level of authenticity as well, especially when trying to attract early career talent. It needs to be clear that your EGC hasn’t been run through a rigorous corporate filter and that employees are providing their honest answers about the topic at hand.
As touched on in our ideabook The Future of Employee Generated Content, this requires evolving from an employee storyteller, where you carefully craft stories and give them to employees to share, to a story enabler, where you enable employees to create and share their own stories in an unfiltered way.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at how 2 global companies, Mars and Micron, have evolved their strategy through technology to enable better employee storytelling.
Employee generated content at Mars
Chris Woods and his team began supporting EGC efforts at Mars, a global manufacturing business, by reaching out to employees via email asking them for content to post on Instagram and LinkedIn. But despite having a workforce of approximately 180,000 associates, few associates actually replied with any interest.
Aside from being very laborious, Chris realized this approach wouldn’t work for another, more fundamental reason. With Mars being a private company, associates weren’t sure about what they could and couldn’t share, which was enough of a roadblock to stop them from getting involved in the first place.
To fix this, Chris recognized that the company needed senior leadership to lead the way. By seeing leaders share content, associates could better gauge what was and wasn’t permitted by the company. For example, many leaders shared their stories of career progression through the company’s Leadership Experience Program, which reinforced the company’s core value of developing its people and encouraged associates to share their own stories of growth within the company.
To further create a permissive environment, Mars had their leadership begin answering questions and be open about their experience working at the company. Combined with LinkedIn training sessions, accessible content templates and a reassuring approval process, this gave associates all the inspiration and permission they needed to start posting about their own employee experiences.
EGC at Mars today
Today, Mars encourages a much more open environment when it comes to EGC, so much so that Mars recently let two new grads take over their UK Instagram account. Similarly, for a recent early talent campaign, Mars gave 10 new grads their own Instagram accounts to document and showcase their experiences. In both scenarios, Mars acts solely as a support figure, providing just enough guidance to be reassuring, not overbearing.
Even in scenarios where the content is created by Mars, they make sure to keep input from associates as unfiltered as possible. For example, Mars sends templates via email to all their associates asking them to fill them with their own original messaging. The Mars Recruitment Marketing team then posts that content across their corporate channels (as well as asks their associates to post the content across their personal channels), with the intention of driving traffic to wherever candidates can ask more specific questions.
Finally, to keep them invested, Mars makes sure their associates are in the loop in regards to the impact their content is having on candidates through sharing a quarterly and monthly newsletter diving into things like top discussions.
To track the progress of their EGC efforts as a whole, Mars keeps track of how many assets are being created, open rates of emails sent out to candidates, helpfulness scores on PathMotion and traffic being driven through to the platform. As an example, in just the last year, Chris has seen Mars’ helpfulness score grow to 90%, a big sign that candidates are getting the answers they’re looking for.
Employee generated content at Micron
Micron, a memory and storage solutions company with over 40,000 team members, has invested in EGC as a content strategy since 2018. While their early day content was high quality, consisting of well-produced videos showcasing employee stories, John Taylor and the rest of the company’s talent team quickly realized two issues: 1) they didn’t have the resources to scale up their video production, and 2) they were telling employee stories rather than enabling their employees to share on their own.
An example of the videos Micron produced before making a change to their EGC.
By switching to more manageable image posts based on Micron’s EVP, which featured answers from employees in a quote form to preset questions, John was able to solve his scaling issue and encourage more of his global workforce to participate; but that still left the issue of enabling employees to tell their own stories.
John looked to PathMotion as a way to scale the company’s EGC more easily and authentically. After eventually getting Micron’s legal team comfortable with the platform and its more unfiltered approach, John turned to employee resource groups (ERGs), university relations teams and highly engaged employees to find people to start answering questions.
With engineering being their most challenging area in terms of sourcing talent, John prioritized getting members of Micron’s engineering team involved, which helped ensure that their key talent audience was addressed in their content.
— Micron Technology (@MicronTech) May 6, 2021
A tweet addressed directly to Micron’s key talent audience, engineers, directing them to where they can connect with a current employee to ask more specific questions.
EGC at Micron Today
While Micron’s efforts through PathMotion are still relatively new, John is already seeing promising results. On average, people are looking at about 30 discussions and browsing for about an hour on the platform.
Plus, to generate more traffic and stir up the creation of more questions, John recently encouraged hundreds of incoming interns and new grads to check out the platform and leave any questions they have. This also helped reveal yet another use for EGC: creating a more comfortable, seamless onboarding experience for new hires.
In the future, John hopes to expand the company’s video answers to better accommodate the different languages used by their global talent audience.
By following in the footsteps of the experts above, leveraging the right technology, honing your content strategy to address the right questions and empowering your employees to answer those questions authentically, you can evolve your EGC efforts to hire top talent smarter and faster.
For even more insights, be sure to check out the full webinar Employee Content Creators: a New Phase of Employee Generated Content with Chris, John and David.
PathMotion is a sponsor of Rally. Their sponsorship fee enables us to create educational resources and events on Recruitment Marketing and employer branding.