Not Getting Enough Employee Referrals for Your Jobs? Time to Think Outside the Box.
The 2016 Global Recruiting Trends report designated employee referral programs as a long-lasting trend that is expected to only grow in the coming years. This is because employers are realizing that structured and well-executed referral programs attract more qualified candidates, reduce turnover rates, improve employee morale, and lower cost-to-hire and time-to-hire rates. These benefits ultimately impact the company’s bottom line, increase productivity and improve customer service.
Experts suggest that if at least 50% of your new hires are not through referrals, it’s time to step up your game.
The problem is that many companies are still relying on decade-old practices to promote their referral programs and these tactics are no longer effective. That’s why employee referrals account for less than 25% of total hires in most organizations, whereas others who have a successful referral program in place hire 55–60% employees via referrals. If your company is having trouble generating the level of employee referrals you need, it’s time to put the old recruiting strategies aside and think outside the box.
3 reasons why employee referral programs don’t scale
1. Employees are not aware of Job Openings
Employees are not even aware of all the current job opportunities available with their organization. Typically, they only know about few job openings in their own departments, but not the organization-wide positions. This makes it impossible for any type of referral program to work on a large scale.
2. Tedious Referral Process
Another obstacle that prevents employees from referring quality candidates is that many companies create a long and tedious referral process — one where employees must log into their employee portal, search for the job, find the job ID number, contact the friend they wish to refer and get his/her resume, and then upload the resume. While, employees may be willing to do this for a family member or close friend, they are not likely to go through all this trouble for every qualified candidate they know.
3. Large Social Network
Can you instantly name every one of your Facebook friends? How about all your LinkedIn connections? Email contacts? The truth is that most people can’t even recall all their smartphone contacts without scrolling through the list — and neither can your employees.
Even though the average person has at least 1,000 connections, most people can only recall a small fraction of these contacts when asked. This doesn’t mean they don’t know the rest or that they can’t determine if they would be a good candidate or not. It only means that the majority of their connections are not part of their inner circle of 15–20 friends and family members, and hence, not at the top of their mind.
Surveys show that 60% of employees have referred a friend, colleague or family member. This proves that your employees want to make referrals, but the real question is: “Will your employees search through their connections on multiple networks just to make a job referral?” Probably not. This means that your employee referral program is limited to just your employee’s inner circle. Ultimately, this results in your company losing out on hundreds or even thousands of prospective top talent referrals just because your employees don’t make the connection.
The Google Experiment
Google tried many techniques to boost their employee referral programs. They tried to incentivize their employees to make more referrals by doubling the referral reward. Turns out that more money was not an effective motivator for their employees. Google knew that it was time to think outside the box. They realized that their employees really did want to make referrals, they just needed some help associating specific job openings with ideal candidates.
To help make this connection, Google used aided recall. Laszlo Bock, Google’s former Head of Hiring, said they found that employees responded better when — “breaking down a huge question into lots of small, manageable ones.” Instead of asking employees to provide general referrals “Do you know anyone we should hire?, Google rephrased the question by asking “Who is the best finance person you have ever worked with?” Aided recall helped to increase employee referrals at Google by 30%.
Help Your Employees Refer
If you want to increase the number of contacts your employees refer for job opportunities within your company, then, like Google, you also need to think outside the box. Since your employees are unlikely to recall every one of their social and professional network connections, you need to jog their memories and help them to refer prospective talent that they may not otherwise remember.
The good news is that making this connection for your employees is now easier than ever. Today’s employee referral technology can instantly scan your employee’s networks and look for certain skills, education and experience that your company requires for a specific job position. Once a match is found, your employees are notified of the connection and given the opportunity to make an instant referral or reject the referral.
Make the Process Super Easy
While your employees want to help, they are busy and don’t have time to go through a complicated referral process. It is crucial that you make it as easy as possible for all employees, at all levels. In addition, you need to maintain transparency throughout the process.
If you aren’t getting enough employee referrals — stop using standard recruiting tactics and change the way the process works. Hachi’s employee referral software can help. Hachi provides an effective and efficient employee referral technology that helps your employees identify top talent within their own personal and professional networks and streamlines the entire referral process. Your employees will be able to make referrals with just the click of a button, and your company will see a significant increase in the number of qualified referrals.
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