HR Management & Compliance

Brand Ambassadors: Winning a Better Brand

In Yesterday’s Advisor we heard from Heather Polivka about the best way to get your employees to help you build your brand. Today we’ll hear more tips from her on what kinds of software can help with training your brand ambassadors.

Polivka, senior director of Global Employer Branding & Marketing at United Health Group, offered her branding tips at the HR Technology Conference held recently in Las Vegas.

There are a lot of ways to pay to build your network and your advocacy program, she says. She mentions:

Sprinklr. An online content calendar and scheduler for posts, Sprinklr is “purpose-built to help large brands create, manage, and optimize valuable social experiences that customers will love.”

Sysomos. A social media monitoring tool, Sysomos offers a “social research engine that delivers deep, actionable insights into the people and conversations that matter most to your brand.”

Polivka also suggests checking out:

  • EveryoneSocial
  • Sprout Social
  • Sociable
  • QUEsocial
  • Dynamic Signal
  • Addvocate-Trapit

Training a Must

Don’t let people represent the organization online without training, Polivka says. She has a 3-month training and certification program for content generation, and an additional 6 hour program for content sharing.

As an example, Polivka had four software engineers take the training, who then got active online and tripled the number of followers. “We’re romancing,” she says, “we say to the people when a position opens, make an informed choice.”

It’s important to have company social media guidelines, Polivka says, who has developed an “Engagement and Escalation Map” that details how to deal with troublesome posts and how to know when to escalate to higher levels.

She also maintains analytics showing positive and negative comments on about 15 different online topics.

Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for the purpose of recruiting. Start on Wednesday, January 6, 2016, with a new interactive webinar—LinkedIn for Recruiting: Go Beyond the Basics. Learn More

Our Social Talent Marketing and Engagement Strategy

To recruit our ideal candidates, our employer branding, reach, talent network, and trust-factor must be greater than that of other companies with the similar talent needs. Our social recruiting program gives us this competitive advantage, Polivka says.

We use our interactive platform, she says, for our employees, trained social recruiting ambassadors, and talent community managers to engage with candidates and people within their social network. Our presence has:

  • Shifted our online talent engagement process from broadcasting job descriptions and interacting with applicant tracking systems to a people-focused, personal, and rich candidate experience; and
  • Positively influenced our online employer reputation with consistent and valuable information sharing and engagement.

Levels of Involvement

Polivka offers the following table to show the different levels of effort that organizations might engage in.

High effort


  • Proactive
  • Candidates making informed decisions
  • Company is accurately represented online
  • High engagement

More effort

More effort to interact

  • Unprompted brand mentions
  • Content creation (YouTube video)
  • Responses to brand Facebook posts
  • Sentiment of engagement metrics


Minimal effort

Minimal effort to interact

  • Facebook likes on brand posts
  • Retweets of brand mentions on Twitter
  • Comments on YouTube video
  • Sentiment of participation metrics


Low Effort

Passive contact with brand mentions or messages

  • Brand Facebook page likes
  • Brand Twitter handle followers
  • Subscribers to YouTube channel


How We Engage

Polivka currently has 50 non-HR advocates with 25 more in queue completing their 6 hours of training. Her end-of-year target is to have 100 trained HR advocates.
The advocates are divided into various groups depending on audience and business objective:

  • By country (For geotargeting, Facebook is good, LinkedIn is OK, and Twitter is not so good, Polivka says.)
  • By function (technological and clinical function, for example).
  • By topic (diversity, military, or general United Health Group info)

Furthermore, an employee can be part of more than one group to receive content to share.

Change in Total Reach

Polivka offers an impressive chart of growth in total reach since her program began:

Before you make your employees into brand ambassadors, you’ll first need to find some quality workers. A lot of people suggest starting with LinkedIn. But do you know what to do once you get there?

Navigating LinkedIn beyond the basics might leave you feeling lost and confused. As a recruiter, how do you frame your searches to find the right field of candidates, and then winnow out the field to get the best of the bunch? Fortunately there’s timely help in the form of BLR’s new webinar—LinkedIn for Recruiting: Go Beyond the Basics. In just 60 minutes, on Wednesday, January 6, you’ll learn everything you need to know about efficiently recruiting with LinkedIn.

Register today for this interactive webinar.

Struggling to find the candidates you want on LinkedIn? Join us Wednesday, January 6, 2016, for a new interactive webinar, LinkedIn for Recruiting: Go Beyond the Basics. Earn 1 hour in HRCI Recertification Credit and 1 hour in SHRM Professional Development Credit. Register Now

By participating in this interactive webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Practical tools and tips for using LinkedIn to recruit in the real world 
  • Actual examples of search terms that work to unearth passive candidates 
  • How to navigate LinkedIn and post the information you want to show to attract top talent 
  • The importance of joining relevant groups and participating in discussions to expand your network 
  • How to narrow the field when you are overwhelmed with a bumper crop of potential employees 
  • The best ways to engage with potential hires—and how to approach them 
  • What to avoid when recruiting on LinkedIn 
  • And much more! 

Register now for this event risk-free.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Central)
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Mountain)
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Pacific)

Approved for Recertification Credit and Professional Development Credit

This program has been approved for 1 credit hour toward recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and 1 credit hour towards SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Join us on Wednesday, January 6, 2016—you’ll get the in-depth LinkedIn for Recruiting: Go Beyond the Basics webinar AND you’ll get all of your particular questions answered by our experts.

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Train Your Entire Staff

As with all BLR®/HR Hero® webinars:

  • Train all the staff you can fit around a conference phone.
  • Get your (and their) specific phoned-in or e-mailed questions answered in Q&A sessions that follow the presentation.

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