Here’s the thing; as sexy as we make social out to be, and as much emphasis as we put on concepts like talent communities and targeted content, the fact of the matter is that what’s new and what’s next isn’t always the most effective when it comes to generating results.In fact, according to the 2014 Career XRoads Source of Hire report, referrals still accounted for the top external source of hire at 19.2%, second only to the 41.9% o positions that are filled internally.
Compare that to “direct sourced” candidates – those ever elusive passives who form the focus of an increasingly inordinate amount of time and money at many recruiting organizations today.
Those represented only 12% of all hires, with another 3.1% coming from “pipeline” (or talent network) activities, which is less than those much maligned traditional job boards, which still accounted for a full 15% of all successful searches last year.
Take a step back for a minute and look where you’re spending most of your time and allocating most of your resources in recruiting today. It’s more than likely on that 15% or so that come in through social media, employer branding, recruiting CRMs and marketing campaigns, not to mention the myriad of other strategies that fall under the sweeping umbrella of “direct sourcing.”
In recruiting, it’s our natural tendency to look outside before looking in; after all, it’s easier to search for candidates on LinkedIn or by building elaborate Boolean strings than it is to search most traditional applicant tracking systems.
Similarly, it’s easier to acquire outside talent than it is to develop it from the inside, and it’s far simpler to source from external social networks than it is to leverage those professional networks that your employees have already built.
Everyone Is A Hiring Manager
As everybody in this business already knows, recruiting is a team sport, with various stakeholders having some say in which candidate ultimately receives an offer.
Most employers err on the side of too many cooks in the kitchen, adding unnecessary days to fill while aversely impacting the candidate experience by extending what’s likely an already draconian and overly complex process.
This is OK, of course, but the fact is that in the absence of standardized feedback, collaborative communications and timely turnarounds, such added scrutiny often asinine, and always extraneous.
Not that you’re going to change the minds of most hiring managers that it’s necessary for everyone, from the interns on up, to get the chance to check out a potential new hire before an offer is extended.
3 Keys To Building A Winning Referral Culture
With a few small changes to your hiring process, however, you can take transform chaos into competitive advantage – and make better hires more effectively and efficiently while simultaneously increasing retention.
That’s a business case no employer on earth can argue with – and here are the top three things you can start doing today to make sure everyone in your organization thinks like ahiring manager and begins building a truly successful referral culture that wins out every time.
1. Increase Internal Awareness.
If you want current workers to bring an ownership mentality to recruiting and a sense of shared responsibility for attracting and retaining awesome employees, then it’s imperative for recruiters to start providing tools and training instead of red tape and prohibitive policies.
This starts with making job opportunities easier for your current employees to find, apply for or share with personal connections and professional colleagues who might be potentially perfect fits for that recently opened requisition.
This seems not only intuitive, but an ideal that’s actually reinforced by legislation and driven by compliance – most employers are legally required to post a position for a minimum period of time (normally 48 hours) internally before opening up the position to the rest of the world.
Unless an employee is lucky, though, they’re unlikely to see that position open before the floodgates of external applicants are ultimately unleashed, because most employers require their current workers to constantly refresh or manually track openings on their internal careers site.
These tend to be even less user friendly or intuitive than even the most cumbersome and archaic applicant tracking system. And since these mostly reside on an employee intranet, buried deep in the bowels of a corporate firewall or VPN, forget trying to access these on a personal device. What’s even more futile is trying to access internal careers sites from a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone.
Look, chances are you probably promised, somewhere in the recruiting process, that there was some sort of professional development or training opportunities at your organization, and that there was something akin to a “promote from within” mentality.
But if they can’t even find and apply for open positions, how in the world do you expect them to be aware or opportunities to start generating the referrals that already constitute your single biggest source of internal hires?