Have you heard about the F-factor? It is all about how friends, fans, and followers greatly influence the consumer’s purchasing decisions. Companies often focus their communication efforts on the consumer, neglecting their most valued stakeholder – the employee.
How can the F-Factor put your company in the race to be the top company to work for?
The potential employee’s social connections significantly impact their search for the perfect job, just as it impacts the consumer’s decision to purchase a product.
Gone are the days where a potential employee requests more information about your company during the first interview. It is becoming more common for the interviewee to confirm facts based on research conducted prior to the interview than asking for facts.
“There are a whole host of ways in which people are influenced by others,” says Reinier Evers, founder of trendwatching.com. He summarises the five of the ways in which the F-Factor can influence behaviour as follow:
- F-Discovery: How potential employees discover opportunities by relying on their social networks.
- F-Rated: How potential employees receive ratings and recommendations from their social networks.
- F-Feedback: How potential employees ask their friends and followers to validate their decisions.
- F-Together: How job hunting is becoming increasingly social.
- F-Me: How employees’ social networks are literally turned into products and services.
The pull of F-Discovery can be explained by looking at people’s curiosity to know what their friends and contacts think about products and services. The same applies to potential employees who, just as consumers, are obsessed with experiencing the best of the best. As such they will embrace communities, tools and apps that allow them to discover what their friends, fans and followers think about your company before even applying for a position.
Although employees tend to find the best of the best through discovery, employees are also able to access personal reviews and recommendations on your company by becoming a follower of current employees of the company they wish to work for on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Online reviews have been empowering decision-making for over a decade which is where F-Feedback comes in. Potential employees will most likely attempt to validate their impressions of your company by reaching out to their friends and followers for feedback after the interview. It is my opinion that the consumer plays a large role in the decision a potential employee make.
Job hunting is becoming increasingly social, even though the potential employee doesn’t know their online fans and followers in a personal capacity. According to JWT Intelligence, 83% of consumers tell their online friends if they get a good deal. I believe that the same applies to job hunting because I often see my fans tell their followers when they experienced an awesome interview or when they comment on their awesome new job.
You can now understand the importance of having happy employees that will say positive things about their workplace on the various online social networks. A happy workplace fosters happy employees that will attract more happy people to say more positive things about your company, making it a popular place to work.
Make sure your staff is positive through Random Acts of Kindness, transparent communication and meaningful team building events. Draw up an online social media policy and give them the tools to assist your company to build its brand through these channels. Train them to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to the advancement of both your company and their personal lives. Monitor online social usage but don’t withhold it from your staff. It is the most powerful means of communication and through denying them access to these channels you will do more harm than good to your company’s brand.