Heini Jokinen works as a Communications Officer in a Finnish recruiting company Opteam. On a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, we had a chat about Employee Advocacy, recruitment, and social media in general.
Your position as a communications specialist at Opteam takes you directly to the heart of social media in the recruiting industry. What is your personal relationship with social media?
I have been active on social media for a long time, even before I joined Opteam’s communications team. I kind of grew into social media. Being active on social media feels natural to me because I’m a communications professional. One just cannot imagine communications without online channels.
For me, Facebook is the channel for the personal communications whereas Twitter and LinkedIn are all about social debates and discovering and sharing professional content. Instagram, WhatsApp, blogs and Pinterest, they all belong to my line-up as well.
Do you use social media to boost your professional profile?
I have always used social media to build and boost my professional profile, even though I joined LinkedIn fairly late. I’m very active in social debates and most of the content I share has some sort of social relevance. Even on Facebook, on my ‘personal channel’, I take up social topics and communicate more or less in the role of a professional.
Your experiences with Employee Advocacy and SmarpShare?
When I joined Opteam, the company had SmarpShare in use. As I took it into use myself, I found it very simple to operate. To my opinion, it is an extremely convenient way to reduce the workload in regards of sharing to social media. It makes participating on social media very easy - user has a portal that contains ready-made, high-quality content waiting to be discovered and shared. Just one click and you are done. The comms team has prepared everything for you.
The only thing you need to remember is to make sure that you are there to respond when your post ignites discussion. And of course, I recommend everyone to customize the message in every post – as we all know, authenticity is one of the key aspects of social media.
You are a communications professional. How do you see Employee Advocacy from the communications point of view?
Even if social media is familiar to everyone, Employee Advocacy is such a new phenomenon that we need to work hard to conquer the fear of sharing work-related content. We need to make Employee Advocacy part of employees' daily life and I find SmarpShare a good tool for that.
But even with the best tools in use we cannot underestimate the role of content; content plays a really big role in Employee Advocacy. It is essential to provide content that benefits employees and their networks. And it is not just about good quality content. In addition, we need to be able to serve various different audiences with the content: different regions, different age groups, and different ethnic groups. Everyone needs to be able to find the right content to share to their networks. Actually, in an optimal case employees would propose and create content themselves - that way also sharing would be much easier for them.
All in all, Employee Advocacy is a great tool to make employee communications easier, get employees to carry out the brand message and to increase the reach – we just need to take care of those few things I mentioned earlier.
What kind of content you personally share via SmarpShare?
I carefully select the content that I know my followers would be interested in, for example, content related to my old home region, open positions etc. Basically, I share content that I would normally share.
Why do you want to be an employee advocate yourself?
I like to show people how interesting the company is I’m working for, besides the content we have available suits to my networks perfectly. On LinkedIn and Twitter, I want to boost my professional profile and build my personal brand. I want people to know that I work for Opteam, I’m interested in responsible recruitment and I position myself as a communications expert.
Finally, as you are in the heart of the recruitment industry, do you have any important advice to all employers?
You can make employees become company advocates, but advocacy doesn’t happen automatically, or by forcing people. It requires trust and commitment from your side. It is hard to act as a brand advocate if you do not know whether you have a job next month or not. So focus on engaging your workforce and after that advocacy will follow almost automatically!
HEINI JOKINEN, communications specialist at Opteam. Heini's goal is to work for corporate social responsibility. She is interested in communications & media, human resources, industrial environmental engineering, and project management. During her leisure time Heini enjoys snowboarding and working as a ski instructor.
OPTEAM is a recruiting and coaching franchise established in 1999. The company has emerged as one of the largest operators in the field of recruitment commanding a net revenue of 73 million Euros (2014). Their unique service concepts and operating models have been created to meet the needs of the businesses of today and tomorrow.
If you are interested in learning more about employees' views on brand advocacy, continue reading the interview with Timo Lehmus. Timo is a passionate employee advocate working as a Senior Vise President in the construction industry.