How to get high-quality employee testimonials

We all know the power of social proof – we rely on it to make decisions every day. Whether it’s a celebrity endorsement, a social media trend or a recommendation from a colleague, testimonials form a vital part of our decision-making processes.

Job seeking is no different. If you’re not making the most of your employee advocacy and using employee testimonials throughout your job seeker’s journey, then you’re missing an easy opportunity to add social proof to your recruitment campaigns.

High-quality employee testimonials can be used in your job descriptions, your career pages and across your social media channels to increase trust and engagement with job seekers and potential candidates.

The good news is, you don’t need expensive software or decades of marketing experience to leverage social proof and employee testimonials. With a bit of careful planning and clear, transparent communication, you can easily create high-quality employee testimonials.

Plan the types of testimonial content you need

Do you need a video for your main careers site, a quote for a specific job description or a photo that can be easily shared on Twitter? Knowing exactly where your testimonial will appear will help you make important decisions about structure and format, as well as which teams or employees would be best placed to tell your employer brand story.

Set clear goals and expectations

Don’t even think about asking for an employee quote or testimonial without a clear goal in mind. If you’re not sure on the message you’re trying to communicate and what results you’re hoping to see, then you’ll end up with bland, repetitive and vague testimonials.

A little bit of transparency will go a long way here. Tell people what you’re looking to achieve, the story you want to tell, how long the process will take and where their testimonial will appear.

Test-run your questions

How your questions are worded can dramatically impact the type of answers and testimonials that you’ll get. Ask open questions that encourage people to elaborate on the specifics of their role or the company. “Tell me three things that you love about your work in the Data Science team” will get very different answers to: “What do you like about working here?”

Test your questions on your team – see how they respond and identify any areas where the answers are vague or aren’t what you were expecting. Are your questions misleading or confusing?

Use different interview techniques

Not everyone will be comfortable being filmed, so offer people different ways to get involved. Would a video call work? Do you have to do a formal photoshoot, or would photos taken by the employee provide a more authentic and less-intimidating way to get great content?

Check you have everything you need

Don’t be afraid to ask for more detail! It’s always better to have too much content than too little, and if you don’t get usable testimonials then you’ll only have to re-arrange to get the material you need.

It can be difficult to do this when videoing or on a call, so take a short tea break and use this opportunity to review the footage and recordings. If you’ve missed anything, you can pick it up straight away.

Check that each statement, quote or answer makes sense when read/heard on its own. If you need the context of the rest of the interview for it to make sense, then it won’t work as a great employee testimonial.

Get approval from your interviewee

Before publishing your testimonial, it’s worth giving the employee chance to approve and give feedback. This isn’t just a courtesy, it gives you the opportunity to check that you’ve captured the right sentiment and meaning behind the testimonial.

It’s also a chance to increase your social proof. Ask your employee to share their testimonials across their social networks. Job seekers trust your employees three times more than they trust content from official company sources, so a share or comment from the employee in the testimonial will go a long way.

High-quality employee testimonials will help you gain trust with potential candidates and can be used across multiple channels to help you communicate your employer brand message. Try using your video testimonials in your nthuse job ads or creating shorter, subtitled videos for Facebook campaigns. Follow the tips above, be clear on your objectives and invest the time now, and you’ll have engaging, authentic employee testimonials to use time and time again in your recruitment campaigns.

Author

Jenny Handy