Social Media + Employee Referral Programs = Hiring Heaven

By Tom Wilde

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Social Media + Employee Referral Programs = Hiring HeavenWhat do you get when you pair an innovative new hiring method with incentives that can help your recruitment process? No, it’s not an odd equation. It’s a formula that can produce better hiring results, increased engagement from your employees, and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve brought on some pretty remarkable hires.

The answer? Social media, which 92 percent of employers use in their hiring methods, and employee referral programs, a strategy used to engage employees to produce quality referrals. The two together are a match made in hiring heaven. For the sake of your recruitment efforts, you need to get on board sooner rather than later.

So, what are the real, tangible impacts of social media on your employee referral program? Read on to find out:


Access to more candidates

The purpose of an employee referral program is to gain higher quality hires -- those who typically stay longer and perform better on the job. With referrals being the No. 1 source of hire, network connections will typically bring in a higher caliber of candidates than those who applied without a referral. These days, your employees are more connected than ever, and social media makes this amazing network easily accessible if you use the right tools.

How to do it effectively: Use a program that increases the scope, as well as the effectiveness, of your referral programs. For example, smart matching is an automated process that allows your employees to search for candidates in your recruiting platform using specific criteria. Other methods, such as smart automation of job sharing, help your employees to effortlessly stay engaged and active in the referral process.

Both of these leverage data, increase connectivity, and make the process easy for your employees. 


Tailored connections

An employee referral program already allows your workers to search through their network. However, if you give them specific job requirements or a list of favorable attributes, your workers can tailor their referrals. For instance, let’s say you want a candidate who lives in New York City with an engineering background and has five years of experience in your space. Automated searches for these connections on platforms like LinkedIn can then occur, which gives you candidates who not only are recommended, but also clearly qualified for the position.

How to do it effectively: Use tools like Facebook Graph Search, which allows your employees to access data from people, photos, places, and interests in order to to cut down a connection list. By doing so, you let employees use tools that leverages the data in their social networks, ultimately doing the searching for them.


Ease of communication

Sometimes, being direct is all you need to do to connect with a referral effectively. The beauty of social networking is that it allows your employees to do so quite seamlessly. So, if you want members of your network to post jobs to a specific audience, ask questions, or start a communication thread, they’ll be able to do so without much difficulty.

How to do it effectively: The best way your employees can connect with their network is to be personable. For example, they can can send personal messages asking if the connection is interested in the position at your company. In order to increase referrals, your employees can also see if they have a common interest with the person they’re reaching out to, which gives them a bond they can take advantage of.


Referral rewards

The most effective employee referral programs have referral rewards attached to them. In fact, 48 percent of employees report that incentives would further motivate them to participate in a referral program. So, while your network is on the search for the perfect candidate, encourage them to get their network involved in the referral process by offering a reward. After all, asking for referrals without offering anything in return will most likely produce low response rates.  

Employee Referrals - rewards boost results!

How to do it effectively: Your employees can post a job on Facebook offering a gift card for referring someone and an additional reward if someone they recommend is hired. This not only gets the word out on social media, but also there’s an incentive for them to act upon it.

When you pair social media with your employee referral program, you stand to bridge the gap between qualified candidates and the process it takes them to get to you. As an employer, easy access to these candidates, as well as engaging your employees, is a great way to amplify your hiring efforts and gain great employees in the process.

What do you think? What are some other ways to use social media in your employee referral program?


Ziv Eliraz is the Founder and CEO of Zao, social employee referral management platform. Connect with Ziv and Zao on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

 

Image Credits: Jason Howie & Quozio

 

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