No matter how many social media platforms arise, coupon codes are created, or new technologies are formed, a good old-fashioned testimonial continues to be one of the most important sales tactics available. You can talk about how great your product or service is all day long—it’s your job! But until someone else confirms it, customers don’t have a reason to take a chance on you. A testimonial—even a short, informal one—can go a long way towards helping people make decisions on your business.
The same can be true for recruitment. You obviously have a motive: you’re trying to bring top talent to your company. So from a candidate’s perspective, you may be inclined to stretch the truth, exaggerate, or draw conclusions where there’s no evidence. It’s more helpful to hear things from current employees than someone whose job hinges on them coming to work for the company. That means testimonials can be powerful tools to help with your recruitment efforts.
You may be thinking that you aren’t a marketer, you’re a recruiter. But at the end of the day, recruiters need to do a lot of inbound marketing to be successful at their jobs. Social proof, such as testimonials, can go a long way when it comes to moving people through the recruitment pipeline.
What Are Testimonials?
Simply put, testimonials are a third party giving feedback about your company. In the case of recruitment testimonials, they’re a current or former employee giving their opinion on what it’s like to work for your business. These would be comments on your workplace culture, your benefits package, or any other relevant pieces of information that may help you in your recruitment efforts.
Testimonials don’t need to be long to be effective. In fact, they shouldn’t be! People have pretty short attention spans, and very few people are reading all of the copy on your website. You want text to be skimmable and visually appealing. That means that short, punchy testimonials are often more affective than long, rambling ones.
How Can You Gather Them?
Testimonials can be gathered a few different ways. The easiest? Just ask employees! Employee surveys are a simple way to go about gathering information on what it’s like to work for your business. Make sure you’re transparent that testimonials may be shared publicly while emphasizing a desire for honesty—nobody should feel pressured into faking love for a job they don’t have. Another simple way of gathering testimonials is during year-end reviews. Simply ask employees how they feel they’re job is going, if they feel appreciated, if they feel that their job has matched their expectations, and any other relevant questions. If you get particularly positive feedback, ask permission to share it in your recruitment efforts. Lastly, check out websites like GlassDoor to see what employees say anonymously about your company. That can be a great place to gather real information about your employees’ satisfaction level.
What Makes a Great Testimonial?
When you’re deciding which employee testimonials to use, there are a few things to consider. First of all, stories sell. Again, even though you’re not technically in sales, you’re still trying to sell a person (top talent) on a concept (working for your business). Storytelling is an effective way to get a point across, so if any of your employees share stories about times they felt particularly cared for or celebrated as an employee, make sure to share them. Secondly, testimonials are specific. Someone just saying “working for X company is great” isn’t nearly as helpful as “working for X company makes me excited to go to work every morning because I can use my skills to make the world a better place for families”. Lastly, gather testimonials from a variety of positions. You don’t want to only have them from managers; it will make lower-tier job candidates wonder if you simply treat the higher ups well. You don’t want to only have them from entry level candidates; it will make more experienced talent wonder if they’re really going to fit in with your company culture. Credible sources are an extremely important part of testimonials, so make sure you have a variety of them.
Where Can You Use Them?
There are plenty of places to use recruitment testimonials that will have an impact. Think about all of the different places you “touch” a job candidate during the recruitment process.
- Social media platforms: Do you regularly feature employee testimonials on your social media pages? Once a month, try to make sure you’re doing a brief post featuring an employee speaking about his or her positive experience working with you. Share fun behind-the-scenes office content as it arises—think screenshots of your Zoom holiday mixer or group photos at the summer barbeque. Not everything has to feel as explicit as a testimonial in order to be effective. Don’t forget that you don’t want to only share testimonials when you’re actively hiring. By sprinkling testimonials throughout your content no matter your hiring status, you’ll build up your brand as an employer and help keep yourself front of mind when talent begins to search for a new job.
- Your website is another crucial place for employee testimonials. On your “jobs” page, make sure you have at least a handful of blurbs from current employees speaking into why they enjoy working for your company.
- Your company’s LinkedIn profile is perfect for employee testimonials. They can easily upload them natively and whenever job seekers find your page, they’ll instantly see how much people enjoy working for your business.
- Any hand outs at job interviews can feature a few brief testimonials. If you give job candidates a benefits package or folder at the interview, just tuck in a sheet with a few testimonials included.
- If you’re a recruiter, you can include a one or two sentence testimonial in your email signature. Then anytime you reach out to a potential candidate, they’ll see positive words about your company and what it’s like to work there.
Claire Swinarski is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.