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Why Employee Referrals Should Be Your Top Source Of Hire

Posted by Kate Smedley on 20 Jul 2017

In a candidate driven market, an effective employee referral programme should be the top source of your high quality hires.

According to research from Bersin by Deloitte[1], 51% of employers surveyed stated that referrals are their organisation’s top source of high quality hires. As the retention of new hires remains a significant problem for 90% of employers, creating an effective employee referral stream can provide a solution to your recruitment crisis.

In addition:-

  • The Bersin by Deloitte study cites a 42% retention rate after three years for candidates sourced through employee referrals, compared to 32% for new hires recruited through job boards and 14% through careers sites.
  • Mature talent acquisition functions are nearly a third (32%) more likely to source candidates internally, ie, through employee referrals or existing employees.

Adopt the following strategies to create a successful employee referral programme for your business:-

Evaluate your open jobs : Identify vacancies where qualified candidates are hard to source and focus your initial requests for referrals in these areas. Pre-qualification requirements should be provided for each vacancy.

Keep it simple : The more complicated the process, the less likely your employees are to participate. Make it easy to share your open jobs across social media or via e-mail through your recruitment software. Alexander Mann Solutions revamped its struggling referral programme and now requires employees to provide just the name, position and location of the referred candidate via its company website. Set expectations at the outset so your employees understand what to expect in terms of feedback and progress updates.

Tag your employee referrals through your ATS : Tag and prioritise all referrals through your applicant tracking software and monitor progress closely to minimise potential hiring delays. Maintain a record of the referring employee and retention levels among your referred hires compared to hires from other sources to monitor success.

Ask for referrals in onboarding : Requests for referrals from your new hires should be implemented in your onboarding process and automated in your recruitment software.

Provide rapid feedback : This is essential if referred candidates are unsuitable to encourage ongoing participation. Offer early feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Incentivised programmes or Ninja Hunts? In general, cash rewards are offered for employee referrals but more cash doesn't necessarily guarantee success. Google doubled its bonus but saw no improvement in its referral rates. It eventually developed an ‘aided recall’ technique where recruiters ask more focused questions of employees , such as ‘who is the best performing salesperson in your network?’ and review their networks with a specific vacancy in mind. Similarly, Facebook uses a ‘Ninja Hunt’ strategy, gathering employees together in an informal setting to explore their network for potentially qualified contacts. Alternatively, non-cash rewards may include a day off, event tickets, a range of activities or holidays for the most consistent and successful referrers

Work on your culture : Poor take-up of your scheme is indicative of deeper problems within your organisation, such as a disengaged workforce or toxic culture. Analysing staff turnover levels in your recruitment data can help to identify potential problems.

Learn to measure your quality of hire : Less than three quarters of UK employers are confident in measuring their quality of hire but without an understanding of what that looks like for your organisation, your employee referral programme will fail.  Support your hiring process with HR technology to enable you to analyse and identify areas for improvement in your hiring process and evaluate your quality of hire.  

Support your employee referral programme with recruitment software used by some of the world’s leading organisations. Start your 30 day free trial with Advorto today.   

You might also like to read:-

What Does Google For Jobs Mean For Your Online Recruitment Strategy?

Breaking The Cycle of Bad Hiring Decisions

Image : 123rf.com/profile_iqoncept

 [1] Source : http://marketing.bersin.com/talent-sourcing.html

Topics: talent engagement

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