Posting jobs, sifting through resumes, and trying to make the best decision as a manager can be daunting, time consuming, and expensive. Employee referrals offer an alternative to the traditional hiring methods. Companies using referral programs see higher retention rates, save money on recruitment strategies, and show increased profits overall. Employees can be some of your best sources for bringing in new candidates that best match your company’s mission and culture
What are some ways companies can use current employees for candidate recruitment?
College or University Career Fairs
People take great pride in their schools. Alumni programs and college job fairs set the stage for cost-saving recruitment. Encourage employees to become active alumna and talk to the next generation of graduates to share experiences. They can tell students how the school they are at helped them prepare, whether or how the company culture compares with the atmosphere at school, and recommend classes to take. This can also lead to a good in-house mentoring relationship.
Employee Referral Programs
There are certain features that can make referral programs more effective. First, make sure employees are not only aware of referral programs but are also reminded- even passively through flyers in common areas and inclusion in internal letters or updates. If employees walk by a sign encouraging them to refer good candidates they know, it is more likely to come to mind the next time they are catching up with that similarly skilled and passionate friend who is getting bored in their current position. Make sure employees see the value of referrals to the company and themselves – to build a strong workforce with teammates that grow together and with an established company culture. On the flip side, show appreciation for referrals by offering rewards (cash or non-cash like vacation time). It is important that referral programs are secure yet easy to use. Consider providing general (non-sensitive) updates to referring employees so they know their efforts are not ignored (even if the candidate does not end up being the correct fit).
Ninety-two percent of recruiters use social media and with all the aforementioned benefits of employee referrals, the two strategies can seamlessly go together. On company-owned social media pages and recruitment posts, continue to emphasize the employee brand which will make postings more personable. There are mutually rewarding ways to engage employees in social media referrals such as competitions (i.e. most shares, best hashtags), train them on how to write their own personalized job referral postings to use on their accounts, and encourage employees to invite others to follow their company’s social media pages. Employees may also be trained or encourages to use LinkedIn where their circles may include people with similar skills and backgrounds. On company social media pages, consider leveraging testimonial videos of current employees explaining what working there is like and demonstrating the company’s culture and feel.
These are just some highlighted practices to use in an employee referral program. Current employees want what is best for their peers and want what is best for their workplace so their referrals are likely to be well-thought out and appropriate on both ends. Those referred by current employees can get an inside view of the company and work environment before deciding to apply or interview which saves both parties time and resources and helps weed out those who might not fit in.