The Most Powerful Under-Tapped Tool in Recruiting
There is no more powerful tool in recruiting than employee referrals; in fact, they’re the number one source of new hires. In other words, your current employees can pave the way for your future hiring success.
Why Employee Referrals Work
Today, businesses are increasing their use of employee referrals to find highly qualified candidates who match your culture. We’ve all heard, ‘It’s who you know’, and who knows better than your current employees who might be the ideal fit for a position in your organization? Besides having a high percentage of employees willing to participate and a low risk of failure, employee referrals work because:
- They deliver better brand messaging. Your employees offer candidates an authentic and more detailed insight into your company’s culture. This strengthens your brand and increases the number of people willing to apply for and accept positions. And social media makes it easier than ever for employees to build networks and foster relationships.
- They offer more immediate results. It doesn’t take long to put an employee referral program in place and, once you do, it’s not unusual to double your percentage of referral hires within the first year.
- The help lower costs in the hiring process. Employees frequently attend conferences and professional events, meaning your business can get a double benefit: ROI for the actual event and face-to-face recruiting opportunities. A well-designed referral program can also lower the costs associated with traditional hiring.
While most effective with entry to mid-level positions, employee referrals can also play a key part in filling executive roles. An effective partnership with your Executive Search firm like Human Securities will encourage referrals from your employees, executive and board networks. Next to employee referrals, staffing and executive search firms are the most successful sources of quality hires.
Create an Employee Referral Program
It takes little time or upfront investment to create an employee referral program. Here are three things to keep in mind as you design yours:
- Keep it simple. Make your program highly visible and actionable to all employees. Provide clear, quick and simple ways to introduce a possible candidate. Including a bit of fun in the message helps, too!
- Keep employees motivated. Offer unique perks, including bonuses and other small rewards like free lunches or gifts to encourage participation. And acknowledge the ‘wins.’
- Keep it a top priority. Give employee referrals preference and provide them a good screening experience. Nothing will kill a program faster than a referral that goes into a black hole, never to be heard from again. To encourage on-going participation, thank your employees for their referrals and let them know what happened with the person.
Follow these guidelines and consistently ‘talk up’ the program and keeping an eye out for great talent will become part of your culture. It’s a smart and strategic way to improve hiring success rates.