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Hire Efficiently: Employee Referrals

August 23, 2013 Leave a comment

When a company doesn’t have enough of qualified employees, productivity suffers. When productivity goes down the tube, so does the business’ ability to maximize profits and satisfy their customers’ needs. While recruiting employees via online job boards, newspapers advertisements and career fairs is fine, an employee referral program can be a way to help fill many open positions in your company.

Benefits of Referral Programs

Employee referral programs have been used by companies for decades to fill jobs. Employees who participate in these programs understand that the people they refer reflect on them. For this reason, new hires that are referred by current employees, tend to be of higher quality. If an employee’s reputation is at stake, she is less likely to refer someone who is unqualified or lazy.

Since people tend to associate with others in their profession, an employee referral program can be especially helpful when available positions require highly specialized skills and are hard to fill through other recruitment methods. In addition, when you use employee referrals to hire workers, it can reduce the need for newspaper ads, job fairs and other pricey recruitment tactics.

A referral program can be as simple as asking current employees if they know someone who might be qualified to fill a particular job. However, when you use this type of approach, the results are often lackluster. Employees want to know what’s in it for them. If they aren’t getting anything out of the deal, they are not likely to exert their energy trying to help.

Best Type of Referral Program

An ideal referral program emphasizes benefits to employees. They will also have systems in place to reward workers, track the success of referred employees and discourage unqualified referrals. Generally, the most successful programs offer some type of monetary reward for workers who refer people who stay longer than three months.

The amount of the reward must be significant enough to motivate employees, but not so much that it encourages them to recommend people who aren’t qualified. The kind of system you use will depend on the nature of your business and the kinds of things that motivate your employees.

Not having the right kind of employees can cost your company big. Using employee referrals is a reliable way to keep a pool of passive candidates to fill open job positions. In the end, the profit potential your company will gain from having qualified workers will outweigh the cost of the referral bonuses used to reward loyal employees.

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What’s Missing From Your Hiring Program?

July 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Economically, the United States has been recovering slowly from the long recession. Unemployment rates drop nationwide as new jobs come available. According to USA Today’s Paul Davidson, the housing market fares best overall with auto sales close behind and growth in manufacturing in spite of heavy storms that hit the Mid-West slowing the lumber industry. The fed reports growth of approximately 200,000 jobs a month so far this year.

The economy appears stable and employers are hiring at a faster pace. The pool of experience is deep, but with more jobs opening, it is time to secure the best team possible. Creating a cohesive, focused work environment is important and the trend for achieving the desired workforce is employee referral programs.

Employee referrals are vital

Employee referrals make up the largest source of new hires on the market today because referrals are:

  • Less expensive than other sources
  • Higher new-hire retention rate
  • Incentives to the referrer
  • Fits into the company cultural

The trick is getting the employees engaged and active in the new technologies available for referral programs.

The advantages of social websites

Social websites, like Facebook, are great resources to use for networking. Over 80-percent of the population use social websites to keep in touch with friends and family. They also use the internet when job hunting. Combining the two activities is a natural progression. Facebook can help get the most qualified applicant to take the next step toward employment with;

  • Videos highlighting company culture
  • Testimonials from employees
  • Company insurance plans and other benefits
  • The potential for growth within the company

Networking finds the best candidates, quickly. A job alert sent to employees involved in the employee referral program quickly nets text messages to people they know who need jobs. In an instant, word of the opening spreads to a large pool of qualified candidates. Multiplying this response by the number of social and job search websites available, the employee pool deepens immensely.

To sort through the pool, applicant tracking software comes into play to make the search less daunting. The software scans resumes and keeps those matching the position. It posts jobs on predetermined websites and job boards. The software also generates personality questions to narrow the field even more.

For specific qualifications, keyword searches will find friends and acquaintances with specialized skills the organization needs. The speed in which qualified candidates receive news of the job opening depends only on the speed of the network the cell phone uses.

Cell phones and tablets

Cell phone usage continues to rise nationwide and the trend will continue into the unforeseen future. All the major social networks have applications available to make networking possible on cell phones and tablets. Employees involved in the networking program will reach acquaintances spanning websites like: 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • My Space
  • LinkedIn
  • CareerBuilder.com

Employees offered a referral bonus look deeper into their network to find the person best suited to the job. When employers pay $2000 and more to employees who refer the best job candidates, only the most qualified applicants get the job alert.

Technology like an ATS or employee referral program offers many resources for finding and hiring the people who fit the jobs best. Using all the available networking tools and media outlets gives a measurable advantage to those who use them.