Are YOU Part of the WOM Hiring Craze?

Are you addicted to the internet and DVR? We now live in an era where information is delivered instantly for consumers. Unfortunately, for traditional advertisers, they are starting to see a shortened runway with 48% of Millennials influenced more by word of mouth than traditional ads, according to Mr. Youth at Intrepid. Fortunately, companies today can funnel that money and funds into another vital resource.

Millennials have grown up with technology and instant information. We are dependent upon our connection with the world, and therefore are starting to become influencers for many companies trying to reach us online. Forget the TV, newspaper, and magazines! We’re all glued to our computer chairs or our phones following everyone and everything on Twitter and online news outlets. Mr Youth and Intrepid stated that 43% of Millennials prefer WOM to gather more product information.

Thriving companies have adjusted and adapted their strategic plan with the changing technology. Companies that have gained a competitive advantage over their rivals have implemented the word of mouth method through the Millennials, who love personal connections and can’t get off of their smart phones or computers. This method can lead to a more successful hiring process for organizations and employee referral programs. So why don’t more companies leverage their staff in the same way for hiring their talent?

A couple of weeks ago we saw a comment from one of candidates that we placed about how much she loved her new job, and put up a picture of her office with her enjoying her work day! What great press this was for the company! Since the beginning of social media, Generation Y has grasped the use of social media to display their every thought to their friends. The latest trend has been workers tweeting about open positions within their company, and how great their company is. Along with the lower cost for the company, it builds great relations for their culture from their loyal hires.

Millennials have a material impact on a company’s ultimate fate. They establish a high bargaining power, where they can pressure the company with any negative feedback. That’s why companies search and hire brand loyalists to spread the word about their products to their peers. These trusted brand loyalists use social media to get the word out, and then the feedback is produced by the companies adding in the personal touch of interacting with the consumers responses on social media sites. This system adds a value to the companies that keep the customer interaction going, which produces a high switching cost between brands and keep consumers locked into their products.

More companies to date need to engage their employees more to build their brand with help from the employee perspective. An employee tweeting to their friends and networks how great company X is can be passed down the line and develop a bigger customer/candidate base. Although employees know not to tweet negative stuff about their company (or at least they should know better), the positives can go a long way with a large amount of connections. Like any other human being, we all like to gossip!

It’s a survival of the fittest for companies today, and employees recently have become a part of a company’s strategy to get ahead with word of mouth spreading in social media to build future hiring relationships. Today we are driven by society’s influences and rely on brand quality, and once we have some good news to share about an experience we had, the power to talk about anything online to anyone and everyone is the priority of our social life. Companies need to engage more in this system, rather than simply following along their customer base online. Having loyal employees and customers in the outer-environment is great press for the company, and you never know…you might just hire your next CEO!

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Post written by Julie Skowronek, Marketing Assistant at Whiting Consulting.

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