Recruit Leveraging Employee Referrals
When you’re looking for a new person to join your team, there’s no one better to work with than your current team. They know your company better than anyone, and they have the biggest stake in finding the right person to become their newest colleague. Employee Referrals of candidates for both open roles and opportunistic talent acquisition are valuable on many levels.
However, It’s not as simple as handing off responsibility to your employees. You’ve got to provide clear guidelines and the right incentives. With the right direction, you can empower your team to recruit on your company’s behalf…and not just when there are open roles. Spotting opportunistic talent and having a mechanism for putting those individuals into the recruiting process for your business, will pay unlimited dividends.
Below are a few ways to approach this strategy and turn your employees into “talent treasure hunters.”
Communicate frequently with your current team
The team members that already work for you should be your best recruiters. Empower them to spread the word in their networks by communicating with them regularly about the job search. Keep them in the loop, both with updates about progress as well as the strategy behind the decision to grow the team.
One practical way to implement this type of communication is a weekly digest of new job postings, emailed out to relevant team members until positions are filled. During team meetings, managers should speak transparently about the company’s decision to grow. Explain which core competencies you’re looking to acquire, and be sure to showcase the business rationale behind the decision. Are your competitors stealing business from you in a certain area? Do you need someone who can handle new regulatory requirements?
This is especially important to reassure your existing team that their jobs are secure. If replacing people is not a part of your strategy, then commit to letting them know. The tiniest spark of distrust in the management can fuel a mass exodus of talented employees. Maintaining transparency and visibility into your talent attraction and talent management processes and prevent this from occurring. When you’re in active recruitment, keeping your team in the loop can not only help you find new people but retain great people, too.
Incentivize their participation
There’s nothing wrong with incentivizing your team to proactively seek out accretive talent for your business. Everyone likes to be rewarded for their hard work, and recruiting a new coworker is no different. There are two different ways you could offer incentives related to employee participation in recruitment.
First, put an employee referral reward system in place for finding a new hire. These incentives can include a financial bonus or an extra vacation day. This strategy tends to work best in midsize companies where employees enjoy a bit of friendly competition. Only use this strategy if you’re confident that your team is already happy at work. Otherwise, it could lead to resentment if the loudest voices and most well-connected employees acquire even more rewards.
An additional option is to encourage your team member to market your companies opportunities on your behalf. Encourage them to post to LinkedIn and other social media sites, share the listings with their alumni networks, or create a contest for the most creative distribution method. This strategy helps to build your culture and works best for smaller companies who are growing quickly or overcoming challenges within the team.
Asking employees to be involved is a good first step toward finding great people who will gel with your current team. Rewarding them for their hard work is an even smarter strategy. No one should work for free, and that includes assisting with the hiring process.
Involve them directly in the recruitment events
From a team member perspective, it can be fun to participate in recruitment events in a hands-on way. They have the opportunity to represent the company to the public as well as enjoy some time away from their desks. However, not every team member is a good fit for this type of extroverted recruitment. Check with people before automatically assigning them to public-facing events.
Take volunteer team members to college job fairs and get them to work the room. Provide a template and ask them to approach former co-workers from past companies (assuming this doesn’t violate non-solicitation agreements they may have signed).
Overall, it’s important to realize that your current team has a key role to play in building and maintaining your company’s talent pipeline. This is a critical mindset shift to make before you start implementing any of the steps above. Make it part of your core values, and ensure every team member understands the company’s pitch and be constantly thinking about opportunistic talent to add to your roster. After all, no one has a bigger stake in your next hire than the person who’ll be sharing an office with them.
Reach out to Ron Laneve at Bell Falls Search for help with your talent acquisition strategy. We create custom strategies for emerging growth businesses that need great people to achieve their goals.