There was a recent stat published on Source of Candidate, with Referrals coming in at #1 (23% of hires). I'm still amazed that there are so many companies out there that do not have a formal or even informal internal referral program.
As this statistic stays strong, it is even more important to look at how you get referrals to sustain your hiring needs.
How better to promote referrals by broadening your thoughts on Candidate Care. Most people think that it only pertains to a potential employee, however if you look at it in 3D.. you can increase your referrals significantly.
The 3 dimensions would be
We've all been contacted for references for someone that we have worked with.. how naive of us to think candidates don't do the same thing when considering going to work with at a company. It's kind of like picking out a restaurant to eat at. You are going to ask someone if they would recommend it. For a "future" patron, they can't speak to the food, however they can speak to the experience.. they've driven by the place a few times and there is always a line out the door.. so it must be good. For the patron that did experience it "current", they can tell you the time they went, the food was excellent and would highly recommend it. For the patron that had experienced it multiple times "former", they can tell you the food is amazing, describe several dishes to choose from and to be sure to ask for the ravioli that's a special not on the menu.
Here's how you do it: Connect, Link Socially, Keep informed, and Get personal
Future Employees- Once a candidate applies, make sure they get a response within a reasonable time frame. Give them the opportunity to connect with you through social media. Keep them updated on company information and invite them to an open house or a job event.
Current Employees- Make a connection, allow social media to be an integral part of communication internally, keep them informed about internal job openings, pay referral bonuses, and have multiple ways for them to refer people.
Former Employees- Treat them like gold (only of course if it's a good one), get good contact information prior to them leaving, connect with them socially, keep informed of company news through an alumni group (LinkedIn), and engage with them for lunch, open house or happy hours. I've read that there is a trend lately of former employees being a great option for filling openings, especially if they left on good terms.
By giving a positive experience to future, current and former employees, you can reap big rewards and be the ravioli.