There’s a lot of talk in our market these days about where recruiting is headed. Many experts feel that we are on the cusp of some significant changes in the next few years. Less reliance on traditional job boards, heavier use of social media and allowing applicants to leverage mobile technology are some of the more consistent topics of change that I see on a regular basis.
Whether you see these trends affecting your organization or not, there is a recruiting strategy that is worth considering — employee referrals. This is nothing new. In fact, employers and their staff members responsible for hiring have been trying to find ways to consistently tap this market for years.
Employee Referral Program Benefits
There are several benefits to using employee referrals for sourcing applicants:
- Better applicants — good people tend to know and refer other good people
- Passive applicants — this approach reaches people who may not yet be actively looking for work and would never see your opening on your career site or a job board
- Lower cost — even if you pay employees for referrals, it is widely acknowledged that this cost is far lower than the typical costs born through standard recruiting techniques
- Better potential for cultural fit — your current employees understand your organization’s culture and are in the best position to help answer questions about the organization from those applicants they refer
Here’s more good news…technological advances are continuing to help make this employee referral process better for both employers and their employees. Social media on its own allows employees to make others in their networks aware of job openings in their organization. However, some of the more progressive applicant tracking software (ATS) tools in the market make this even easier for employees. Employees may click and share openings through their social channels without any copying/pasting. This makes the overall program more sustainable and successful.