In his book Socialnomics, Erik Qualman highlights how, in this social media era
we currently find ourselves, word-of-mouth has gone world-of-mouth. As in consumer marketing, you can advertise until you’re blue in the face but the fact of the matter is people are more likely to react to a call-to-action if they receive it from a trusted source such as friend, family member or close colleague etc
The same principle can be applied to recruitment. Today, the temptation is to get entirely caught up in the social media recruitment frenzy that’s doing the rounds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive believer in SM + Recruitment = incredible results (and I’m sure I’ll be dedicating blog space to it over the coming months) but for the time-being I want to focus on another “social” way of driving candidates to your company.
Before going out and spending a budget on researching and implementing a social media recruitment strategy lets remember an old, trusted, and in my opinion, often forgotten compadre of ours – the in-house referral scheme. Commonly known in many quarters as refer-a-friend.
When it comes to a recruitment sourcing strategy it makes sense to start by drawing on the resources already at your disposal. When hunting for the talent needles in the candidate haystacks some forget to start simply by getting their existing employees to do some of the work for them? There must be people in your departments who are linked to networks, groups, alumni’s etc who would be more than happy to reach out to their connections and sell the benefits and culture of working in your organisation. A word of warning though. Keep your referral programme as simple as possible for employees to get on board with.
I am a big fan of simple & effective (it probably best describes my personality… Or is that, “ineffective”?)… anyway. If it’s too bureaucratic people will simply loose interest. As a potential referrer could you be bothered if it meant reams of arduous form filling and numerous hoops to jump through?
Ask yourself this, “what am I trying to achieve with my referral scheme?”. For me it’s basically a case of driving quality traffic to help build talent pools for each function within the organisation.
When I was in charge of re-launching a referral scheme in a head-office environment consisting of 200-250 employees I made the referring process a 3 step process. It was quite powerful to say, “look guys, all you need to do is:
There was no form filling or admin on behalf of the person making the referral other than emailing me the details of their recommendation.
I accept if you’re launching a scheme to a larger population and you’re working across multiple sites more processes and controls may be required but don’t make an industry out of it.
Be sure to keep the referrers experience front of mind at all times. For me, does it matter if they haven’t done a massive sales pitch on their referral? No, that’s a recruiters job when they engage with the friend. Do I want the referrer to fill out forms detailing why they’re recommending the person and provide me with a behavioural profile, DNA swabs, inside leg measurements etc… Again, nope. let the recruitment team do that.
Obviously you need some rules in place. You’ll have your own but as an example:
Whatever you do make the process as simple as possible and don’t apply 100+1 clauses in the small print. After all, you want people to refer future talent to your recruitment pipeline. Don’t make it a complete mission for them to do so.
I’m in the process of typing up another post outlining a re-launch of a referral scheme I led. It will detail the research carried out through to launch and successful recommendations made. The intention is it will assist anyone looking to launch / re-launch their own refer-a-friend programme in the near future and throw up some considerations you may not otherwise think of.
You lucky lucky people. I bet you can’t wait… Oh… You can.
Hungry for more? Check me out at www.trecknowledgy.com - training and coaching through recruitment complexities. Follow on Twitter @TRecKnowledgy
Thanks for your time.