What Is Social Proof and How Can It Help You Recruit?

I just started using this amazing facial oil made with an ancient, clarifying, luxurious stone called lazuli lapis to help even out my skin complexion, keep it moisturized, reduce inflammation, you know… all that amazing stuff. The product is handcrafted and manufactured in a small facility in Seattle, Washington. A husband and wife couple create their products from 100% natural and vegan ingredients. Sounds perfect, right? Sign me up.

I also spent almost 2 hours reading reviews on not just the facial oil, but like… at least 5 other products to get a feel for if they’re a legit company if the products work, smells, feels, experiences, etc. Because I’m not going to risk $78 for a bottle of fancy facial oil if it’s just another gimmick that contains more water and filler product than the actual active ingredients. Feel me?

What I just described to you is a real-life example of social proof having an impact on a purchasing decision. Check these stats:

  1. Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. [source]
  2. Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. [source]

What people say and think about your company impacts your brand (both good and bad… negative social proof hits just as hard.)

How to tap into social proof to help you attract more candidates:

Employee “Testimonial” Quotes

Because testimonials are one of the most persuasive forms of social proof, it’s a prime strategy to engage your current employees and get quotes from them saying lovely comments about working at your company. But a solid employee testimonial will be trusted so much more if a picture of that person is included in the post, on social media, on your blog, etc. People like looking at other people. Human faces spark trust. If you’re going to use your peoples’ words, use their picture, too.

Employee Stories

Our brains are hardwired to deeply connect with stories. When we hear stories from other people, we naturally tend to put ourselves in their shoes. Because stories are extremely persuasive and trustworthy than stats (because our brains remember individual tales over a slew of averages and numbers), tapping into our employees and sharing their “tales” of working at your company is kind of a big deal. For example, you could talk about the woman who stayed at home with her babies for 5 years but decided she wanted to enter back into the workforce and you company was so welcoming and supportive of her. Or the college grad who could receive the training she needed to learn more about the finance team at your company and now she feels so prepared and excited for her career growth thanks to your amazing team. Going after the emotions and specific stories of your employees will connect with potential candidates and they’ll think “oh, that person is like me! This could be me!” Start interviewing your people, write blog posts about them, film a short story about them to share on social—social proof, baby.

Authority Rules

Have you ever worked with a company or bought something from a brand because “oh, XYZ Big Amazing Brand use them, too! It must be good. I shall buy.” This is an example of authority. It’s also an example of the halo effect—psychologists say our impression of a person (or company brand) influences how we think or feel about that person or brand. Example: because we all are very aware of how large and in charge the Coca-Cola brand is worldwide, then it must be an amazing company to work for or with, right? Who wouldn’t want to work for Coke?! #haloeffect Or. “Wow, that blogger on Instagram has 220K followers! She must be so nice, funny, and obviously making a lot of money. I want to buy that outfit she’s wearing!” #haloeffect

Or, “Wow, that blogger on Instagram has 220K followers! She must be so nice, funny, and obviously making a lot of money. I want to buy that outfit she’s wearing!” #haloeffect

It’s kind of funny how our perceptions can totally help us make judgments, right?

Back to business: When consumers (in our case, candidate) see you’ve worked with big/well-known brands, they’ve basically become putty in your hands. (That rhymed, by the way.) If you’re a marketing agency trying to recruit a designer, community manager, etc., then have a section on your site featuring the logos of your client brands! Serious candidates will be intrigued and want to be on board to work on these cool projects with you. It’s like the icing on the cake. Your tagline above the cloud of logos could say “We partner with a bunch of super progressive clients that take marketing just as serious as we do. Here are just a few:” then let those logos flow.

Another #haloeffect to tap into for your own good: when candidates view your brand and company as warm, inviting, appreciated people, friendly… they’re more likely to view you as a good employer and want to work for you. Another reason sharing employee testimonials, quotes, stories ALL OVER THE PLACE is super beneficial.

So now it’s your turn. How are you going to improve your social proof and deliver persuasive content to attract candidates?







Leave a Reply