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The Social Referral
A RolePoint Whitepaper by Bill Boorman
INTRODUCTION


                                                          The fact that you are reading this paper means that you probably already recognize the
                                                          benefits of leveraging an employee referral program for hiring. In May 2012 Dr. John
                                                          Sullivan wrote in ERE about the top 10 benefits to referral recruiting:


       Hard data on the value and impact of employee referrals


        1.           Hire volume - Referrals are the #1 source in hiring volume. 1, 3

        2.           Hire quality - Referrals are also the #1 source for new hire quality. 1

        3.           Speed (application-to-hire time in days) - Referrals are the #1 fastest recruiting method (29 days for
                     referrals, 39 days for job boards, and 45 days for career sites). 2

        4.           Average length of employment of all initial hires after one year (retention) - Referrals are #1 at 46%
                     retention after 1one year(compared to 33% from career sites and 22% from job boards). 2

        5.           Average length of employment of all initial hires after two years (retention) - employee referrals are #1 at
                     45% retention after two years (compared to 20% from job boards after two years and 14% after
                     three years). 2

        6.           Percentage of all applicants - Referrals are only 6.9% of applicants. 2

        7.           Percentage of all hires - 46% of all hires at top performing firms are referrals4, while for all firms, they
                     range between 28%3 and 39.9% of all hires. 2

        8.           Applicant-to-hire ratio - Referrals are #1 and are hired at a rate of 1 out of 3 applications for
                     top-performing firms and 1 out of 10 at average firms. Compare that to an average applicant to hire ratio
                     of 1 out of 18 from all sources. 4

        9.           Cost per hire - Job boards hires cost on average $1,671 versus referral hiring costs of $2,306 (only $635
                     more). 4

        10.          Diversity impact - Despite the old myth that referrals have a negative diversity impact, referrals were #1
                     as the ‘most productive’ source for diversity hires, well ahead of major job boards, company affinity
                     groups, and diversity career fairs. 3



1 Source — Staffing.org 2011
2 Source — Jobvite index 2012
3 Source — CareerXroads 2011 – 2012
4 Source — Dr. John Sullivan and Associates research 2008-2011



When you look at the data, and it has been well documented, it is easy to see why there has been a clamor to implement
Employee Referral Programs. The most common way of doing this was to offer cash rewards for hired candidates introduced by
employees. Given the cost of agency fees, which average between 20 and 25%, companies could offer significant cash rewards
and still show a big reduction in the cost per hire. Attracted by this methodology, corporate companies set up schemes but
reported problems with long term adoption. This paper will identify some of the barriers to widespread adoption and what can
be done to break them down.



RolePoint Inc © 2013                                                               1                                                The Social Referral
REFERRALS IN THE OLD SCHOOL                                    The most common employee referral programs involve
                                                               making open jobs visible to employees and asking for
Defining referrals used to be simple; a referral was a          recommendations. The process requires the employees to
recommendation, and people only referred the people they       provide potential candidate details, usually a resume or
knew well and probably worked with. This was driven by         LinkedIn profile, and to have gained permission from the
memory, little black books and personal relationships.         candidate to submit. Successful hires are rewarded with
Volumes of referred candidates were low, but conversions       cash payments, commonly after the completion of the
were high because employees matched on skill, experience       probationary period. As payments are involved, there is a
and knowledge, and were recommended as a fit in all these       due diligence process to qualify for payment.
areas.
                                                               There were pros and cons to the old school methodology:



   Pros                                                            Cons



   - High quality candidates with a good fit                        - Low volume of referral candidates

   - Endorsed skill level and employability                        - Geared towards new starters

   - Employees accountable for candidate fit                        - Admin heavy systems

   - High level of employee influence with the                      - Time taken to complete most referral
     candidate                                                       programs

   - Low cost of referral hires (even after bonuses)               - Due diligence of referral rewards

   - Low conversion ratio of applied to interviewed                - Asking employees to have the matching skills
     and interviewed to hired                                        of recruiters

   - Diversity

   - Speed of hire

   - On-boarding and new starter mentoring
     through friends

   - Opportunity to reward employees




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                       2                                              The Social Referral
The benefits to referral recruiting are undisputed, with the             submitted information reported that it took 10.4 referrals
pros easily outweighing the cons, not least cost of hire.               per hire, where as the other sources were in excess of 100.
However, the low volumes of referrals means that even the
most successful programs result in no more than 35% of all              Given this data, which comes from a respected source of
hires. The 2012 research into source of hire in the US,                 research, it is easy to see why companies place ERPs at the
conducted by consultancy CareerXroads, identified that                   center of their recruiting efforts, and that
28% of hires among the 200 companies surveyed were the                  recommendations from employees provide the most
result of referrals. The full data list is displayed in the chart       valuable source of hire. The challenge companies face is
below.                                                                  finding new ways to increase the volume of referred
                                                                        candidates, maintain the quality of referrals and sustain the
The remaining 55% of hires were attributed to internal                  flow of referrals on an on-going basis.
transfers and promotions. The other interesting data to
come out of this research is that the companies who




      SOURCES OF HIRE



                                                                                                             Referrals
                                                                                                             Job Boards
                                                                                                             Company Career Site
                                                                                                             Recruiter Initiated
                                                                                                             Rehire
                                                                                                             Social Media
                                                                                                             3rd Part Recruiters
                                                                                                             Print ad
                                                                                                             Other




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                                3                                                   The Social Referral
THE REFERRAL KILLERS                                                   and comments added etc. it is a common comment that “as
                                                                       much as I want to help out, I have a job to do.” The process
It is easy to see why the best referral you are going to get is        behind the ERP needs to be simple and quick, enabling
when the referred candidate is known by the employee and               employees to contribute without interfering with the time
they have worked together. In our research in to how most              available to do their real job. The more time involved in
companies employ traditional employee referral schemes,                searching, matching, communicating with potential
there is a big emphasis on asking new starters. A number of            candidates, recruiters and admin, employees will be less
companies gave the example of sitting down with new                    likely to continue taking part. A successful ERP needs to be
starters during their on boarding with a blank pad and                 admin light and built with the employee
asking them to write down the contact details of former                in mind.
colleagues and friends who might be of interest to the
company. The reason given for this is that new employees
are most forthcoming with names, and usually of former                 4. Not Their Job
colleagues. The new employees are also keen to impress,
and motivated by their new employer. Logic also follows                Whilst an accountant might know plenty of accountants,
that as this candidate was successful, former colleagues will          their main job is working the numbers, not recruiting staff.
likely have a similar skill set and experience.                        The more the accountants are asked to be recruiters and
                                                                       exercise judgment over which candidates to submit, the
I have been involved in trouble shooting employee referral             less confident they are in taking part. The volume of
programs that are not generating the expected results. The             referrals can be a good indicator of staff morale and the
common denominator in these programs is that the                       ‘not my job’ attitude, so where there is little buy in, why
company offer large cash rewards, but are confused why                 refer? It can also be a result of employees lacking
this is not generating the volume of hires they are                    confidence in making judgment calls, linked to
expecting. When speaking to the employees about why                    accountability. When employees are not required to make
they are not taking a more active part in the ERP when the             selection choices, ERPs go up.
potential cash rewards are high, I have discovered that the
most common barriers are:
                                                                       5. Line Manager Buy In
1. Accountability
                                                                       Line managers need to see the ERP as being important to
When an employee makes a recommendation, they take a                   their team, and the most effective way they can recruit. The
risk on their personal reputation andthere is a risk that the          communication of the ERP internally often focuses on the
recruiters or hiring managers feel that their time has been            benefit to the company and often misses out on the
wasted. If the referred candidate is hired, there is the               benefits to the individual employees of working with the
additional risk that the candidate will not work out, and will         best people they can, and the part they can play in it. Where
always be known as their ’guy’, particularly given any                 time and resources areis invested in getting line manager
financial rewards they may have been paid.                              buy in, they are far more willing to include conversations
                                                                       about referrals in team meetings, one to ones and more.
                                                                       Where referral figures are included in performance
2. Transparency                                                        reviews, then the ERP is kept front and center.

This is probably the most common one. Where rewards for
referred hires are high, there is a high level of due diligence,       6. Uncomfortable Approaching Friends About Jobs
as well as tax implications. Examples I have been given for
not paying the expected rewards are that the candidate                 Some employees feel uncomfortable approaching their
was already known to the company and in the ATS, the                   friends about jobs with their employer and are unsure how
paperwork was incorrectly completed or the employee did                to make the first approach. They also feel that it is
not upload a resume. Where there are cash rewards, there               inappropriate to talk jobs with their friends, given the
are plenty of reasons for saying no to a claim. The sense of           confidential nature of careers. The best way to resolve this
injustice proves to be a real cancer to many ERPs. To get an           is to make the process easy and to offer training in the
ERP to work, the rules need to be transparent and designed             referral process and the employer brand. Training and
to reward rather than penalize. When the system is seen as             development to support the ERP will lead to success, with
fair and reasonable, employees are far more willing to take            employees being more confident in having career related
part.                                                                  conversations. Consider the training plan as part of the
                                                                       launch and on-going participation in the program.

3. Time Consuming

Tied in with rewards is procedure, and procedure can be
time consuming when due diligence is a driving factor.
Where resumes have to be sought, uploaded or submitted




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                               4                                                 The Social Referral
7. Poor Candidate Experience                                       THE SOCIAL DIFFERENCE

When an employee reaches out to a contact, gains their             Over the last 3 years, social networks have experienced
interest in an opportunity and gets them to make an                exponential growth. Employee networks have grown
application, they have an expectation that they will be            accordingly, offering access to structured career data
treated in the right way. Global consultancy business              through sites like LinkedIn in particular, and unstructured
Accenture have adopted a highly successful ERP, which              data through networks like Facebook. Employees are
places candidate experience at the center. This is driven by       continually adding new contacts and growing personal
a service level agreement which sets time-scales for the           networks. Job posting tools that share jobs into social
review of referred candidates and for feedback. Whilst             networks are often described as social referral tools,
employees do not expect every candidate they refer to get          though this is an inaccurate and misleading description. The
an interview or a job, they do expect timely feedback and          more sophisticated of these tools create unique links for
due consideration, and when this does not happen, the              sharing that enable employers to identify which of their
referred candidate will go back to the employee who                employees originated the share. This is useful for
originated the application. Negative feedback to candidate         recognition and reward, whilst the practice of sharing jobs
experience will strangle any ERP initiatives. Recruitment          in the wider network is to be encouraged in order to reach
processes should be designed to operate referred                   job seekers who are browsing or using search engines to
candidates as a separate channel, with time scales for             identify opportunities. Job seekers are increasingly
review and feedback to both the candidate and the                  connecting with their peers in organizations they want to
employee who originated the application.                           work for. Encouraging employees to share jobs into their
                                                                   networks offers the potential to reach these connections,
                                                                   but it is only a chance. A direct message is always going to
8. Forgetting the ERP                                              prove to be more effective.

Most ERPs launch with great intentions, publicity and              A referral is best defined as a personal recommendation
fanfare but after a few months, employee enthusiasm and            from one person to another. The traditional referral
participation weans. There is always a new initiative each         highlighted at the start of this paper is a good example of
month, and referrals drop off the radar. This need not be          this. The difference, though, between an old school referral
the case with careful planning. When structuring an ERP            and a social referral is the potential depth of the
strategy, you need to think how you are going to promote           relationship. All networks consist of an inner and outer
the program and keep it prominent in the thoughts of               circle. The inner circle, in terms of referral, includes those
employees. These are some of the tactics companies have            connections where an offline relationship exists based on
employed to keep the ERP current month after month, year           work interactions and personal knowledge. The outer circle
after year.                                                        consists of those connections who have connected online
                                                                   through a shared interest, mutual connections or similar.
-   Weekly ’most wanted’ posters and communication                 This offers access to data for mining and matching, and
-   Weekly referral huddles and awards                             reach for personal messaging via an established
                                                                   connection.
-   Referral points and league table
-   Referral T-shirts (Rackspace use the caption: Takes one        When you consider the potential reach offered by the
    to know one. Certified Racker Referrer)                         combined population of all of your employees who are
-   Weekly e-mail or newsletter                                    willing to sign in to a social referral program, it’s easy to
-   Monthly referral picnic/party                                  recognize the potential of operating your ERP around
-   Seasonal initiatives, Christmas etc                            social connections rather than personal address books, as
                                                                   in the traditional referral. The key here is to enable
-   Dedicated referral portal with alerts
                                                                   employees to weight the referrals they make, giving priority
-   Referrer awards and recognition                                to those in their inner circle whilst leaving the way open to
-   Accumulated points and prizes                                  search all connections however distant for a skills and
-   Inclusion of referral data in performance reports              experience match. The use of data mining technology
-   Hot jobs and skills lists                                      enables recruiters to identify potential candidates based on
-   On-line referral badges                                        skills and experience of any employee who permits access
                                                                   by signing up for the ERP.
-   Payment to a charity fund for hires

These are just a few examples of how to keep promoting
the ERP by planning out an annual campaign with regular
employee communications. Celebrate successes publicly
with open recognition, plan for on-going communication
and get referrals on the agenda at every management and
team meeting.




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                           5                                                 The Social Referral
In order to make this method work employers need to:                  Social data for the U.S, According to SocialBakers.Com:

                                                                      - LinkedIn users: Mn 74,248, 222
              Remove accountability for referrals                     - Facebook users: Mn 164,958,520
              coming from social networks without
              personal recommendation.
                                                                                                                           71.82%




                                                                                                               53.20%
              Use matching technology and alerts to
              advise employees where they can choose
              to pass on a referral with one click.                                   33.20%

                                                                         23.94%




              Leave control of the message (and who to
              send it to) with the employee.

                                                                              LinkedIn                            Facebook

                                                                            Penetration of Online Population

              Provide reassurance that access to                            Penetration of Population
              personal social networks is for matching
              only and no data will be extracted or stored.
                                                                      WHAT DRIVES REFERRAL PROGRAMS

                                                                      Having studied successful ERPs, the most common
                                                                      denominator is a team of departmental champions outside
              Remove accountability for referrals                     of the recruiting team. The ERP team should be the ones
              coming from social networks without                     who drive the program, design rewards and build a
              personal recommendation.                                community of referrers inside and outside of the
                                                                      organization. The champions should be given the freedom
                                                                      to design the framework to get the most out of the ERP.
                                                                      Most companies designing a new scheme assume that
Social referrals create pipelines, provided the matching              offering cash is the main driver. We have found that more
algorithm is good, and the messaging relevant.                        often than not, the complications associated with cash,
                                                                      from due diligence to taxation, hinders wide scale adoption.
                                                                      It is better to let the employees determine their own
RELEVANCE OF REFERRAL MESSAGING                                       rewards. These can be cumulative or instant. Small rewards
                                                                      and team rewards go much further than occasional cash
The difference between a spam message and a worthwhile                payments.
message is relevance. Job opportunities and content
shared by referral needs to be a good fit for the recipient,           The other consideration in this is what to reward. Whilst
and this means building confidence in the technology                   most ERPs reward hires only, is this actually what you want
behind the ERP. Whilst potential candidates targeted by               to be rewarding when there is only a 1:10 (or greater)
the ERP do not expect to want or be in a position to apply,           chance of success, followed by potential due diligence over
they also want to be able to identify why they were                   process and candidate ownership? The more successful
selected. No point offering a sales VP a job for a junior sales       ERPs reward referrals rather than hires. This can be small
clerk. The relevance must be clear to avoid spam thinking             recognitions or awards, or gamification, typically by
and to stay connected. The frequency of messaging needs               rewarding each referral with a raffle ticket for a big prize
to be left in the control of the employee to ensure buy in.           such as a car. Getting rewards right for your employees is
                                                                      key, and you should never under estimate the power of
                                                                      reinforcing the desire among employees to get the best
                                                                      employees (and colleagues) into the company for
                                                                      everyone’s benefit. Public recognition and celebration can
                                                                      often go further than hard cash.




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                              6                                                 The Social Referral
The key drivers to success of a social ERP are:                     The key is interaction, rather than static. Target candidates
                                                                    receiving an e-mail want to be able to hit a link and access
-   Easy participation                                              relevant content wherever they are.
-   Simple process
-   Non recruiter champions
                                                                    MOBILITY AND THE SOCIAL REFERRAL
-   On-going communications and visibility
-   Celebrations of success                                         The term mobility refers to the way that the explosion in
-   Recognition of contribution                                     the use of smartphones and tablets has changed the way
-   Transparent rewards program                                     people do things. People message and respond in down
-   Automated matching                                              time between work and personal commitments, and they
                                                                    expect to be able to interact instantly. In the past, online job
-   Relationship weighting
                                                                    search and email messaging was locked by the need to be
-   Candidate experience                                            on a PC. For recruiting, this mostly meant messaging or
-   Feedback to referrer                                            sending out notifications and waiting a minimum of 24
                                                                    hours for some kind of response. Mobility has changed all
It is also critically important that employees can opt-in and       this, with people using down times like when they are
opt-out as they see fit. The technology aided social referral,       commuting, on breaks and whilst watching TV in the
with the addition of a ranking feature based on relationship        evening to check in with messages, updates and emails.
(inner/outer circle) retains the benefits of the traditional         They are on the move and want to be able to access content
referral whilst adding targeted reach. The best of both             easily, viewable on a mobile device. They don't want to need
methods.                                                            to navigate from page to page, and they want to be able to
                                                                    respond instantly. Responding by mobile device means that
The next generation of social referral technology will add          candidates are unable to provide extensive information,
the facility for instant messaging and the micro job site.          needing a one or two click expression of interest.

                                                                    This is ideal via social referral where the original profile can
THE MICRO JOB SITE                                                  be tagged against the unique URL applied to the job. When
                                                                    the target clicks their interest, the aggregated profiles used
Potential candidates want to see much more than job ads             to match (such as a LinkedIn profile) can be imported from
when considering whether to register interest or apply.             the user profile. Receiving the message on a device in your
Research and results show that potential candidates want            pocket will incur response times and conversions. Even
to research opportunities before hitting the apply button.          social media giant Facebook consider themselves to be a
Active job seekers are suffering from application fatigue,          mobile, rather than a social company, and any ERP
after spending time completing applications through the             technology not built for mobile can be considered dated.
employer ATS only to disappear in to a black hole and never         Mobile referral technology, mobile landing pages, and push
hear back. Before hitting apply, job seekers want to be             notifications to trigger referral messaging are all key for
confident that they have enough information to determine             ensuring an effective mobile presence.
that they have a reasonable chance of getting an interview.
This means that they are looking to be able to find minimum
requirements easily, with simple navigation to find
information on the job.

For passive job seekers, a job description is not enough to
elicit interest. They want to be able to see rich content in
their choice of media in order to recognize culture fit as
well as capability. The job micro-site should tell the story
behind the job, told in words, pictures and video, with
access to contacts to ask questions and talk about a
company and an opportunity before they are willing to hit
apply and jump in to the process. The micro-site needs to
offer social connections and the opportunity to
communicate in the channel of their choice.

When a potential candidate clicks on a link, they want to
land on the job and find information and content easily. It is
also important to note that 75% of emails are opened on a
mobile device, which means any micro-site needs to be
accessible and easy to navigate across platforms. Mobile
changes the where and the how potential candidates want
to interact with content.




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                            7                                                  The Social Referral
Mobile data for the U.S. In 2012:                                     Awarding points for activity and outcomes means
                                                                      employees can accumulate reward points to cash in against
                                                                      a series of rewards. Adding fun elements to rewards like
                                                                      spot competitions, bonus points for in demand people, and
             4:1                      48m vs 4.9m
                                                                      adding games like spin the wheel to win extra points or
                                                                      prizes keeps the attention on the ERP in a fun way. The best
    Smart phone owners vs
      computer owners                 iPhones vs Macbooks             example of this I have seen is where employees achieving a
                                                                      certain number of points got the chance to spin the wheel,
                                                                      with prizes ranging from an old pair of jeans to beer for a
                                                                      year.

                                                                      A technical business in Boston had great success by
            48%                              50%                      awarding a raffle ticket for each referral. They held daily,
   of US mobile subscribers           Growth in smartphone            weekly and monthly draws to win spot prizes such as iPads
      own a Smart phone              usage from 2011 – 2012           and Kindles. The end of the program was marked with a
                                                                      draw for a car. The draw was promoted with plenty of
                                                                      branded content, with ample communication over volumes
                                                                      and a league table. This resulted in over 30 hires of high
                                                                      profile IT professionals. The car was a great centerpiece,
            91%                             2013                      and a small investment given the return. Plugging in to
                                                                      competition, fun and recognizing referral champions
    of Americans have their         mobile surpass computers
     mobile device on 24/7            for internet access
                                                                      results in a community feel to the ERP, particularly when
                                                                      combined with other employer/culture branding efforts.


                                                                      CULTURE BRANDING AND THE ERP

           1 in 7                          16.9%                      When we talk referrals, we tend to automatically think that
     internet searches are          black Monday shopping was         this means enlisting the help of employees to share jobs
     conducted via mobile               a mobile transaction          with members of their network who have the skills to fit the
                                                                      opportunity. Increasingly companies are paying more
                                                                      attention to culture branding, using social media to provide
                                                                      a window in to their organization in order to enable
                                                                      potential candidates to elect in to connect and follow the
             94%
                                        Only 20%                      company and opt out if there is no fit. Potential candidates
  of Smartphone users search
                                                                      are increasingly looking for more information on the real
  business services by mobile,      of businesses have invested
       90% have made a                   in a mobile device.
                                                                      values and culture of the company. This marks the shift
         transaction.                                                 from transactional recruiting on a job by job basis, to
                                                                      relationship based recruiting, with potential candidates
                                                                      wanting to get to know an organization before applying.
*All data taken from www.Imomentus.com/Download Feb                   With so much noise in the social media content in the social
2012.                                                                 channels, it is easy to lose content and is hard to pinpoint
                                                                      target audience. Innovative thinking about ERPs uses the
                                                                      same data mining, matching and referral technology to
GAMIFICATION                                                          refer content on a one to one basis to targeted
                                                                      connections. Personal referrals of content are far more
When we talk gamification, we often get the image of                   likely to be seen and opened, increasing appeal and culture
Farmville and other online games and game platforms.                  brand awareness amongst a network of people who rank
Gamification, however, is being widely adopted in to                   highly on the employability scale. Employability is based on
business practice. Awarding points for referral inputs and            skills, experience, culture fit, location and other factors.
outcomes encourage competition between employees and                  Content connects people with organizations, and referred
teams. Online badges recognize contributions from all                 content makes sure that these are the right people to fill
employees, and can be tied in to social status and                    future requirements.
performance review. The greater the recognition from
management, the more employees look to achieve the
standard. Competition is a big driver among colleagues and
teams.




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                              8                                               The Social Referral
POPULATING THE TALENT NETWORK THROUGH                              It is conceivable that as company talent networks grow,
REFERRAL                                                           there will be a tipping point where there will be no need to
                                                                   search outside of this network, and every ’member’ will
Recruiting, for the most part, has been transactional in the       have a level of relationship with the company. Referrals
past. Jobs got posted on static websites, job boards and           present a great opportunity to build the talent network to
printed media. Applicants applied online and went to an            this level.
applicant tracking system, provided information, answered
questions (with some killer questions) and uploaded a
resume. Next step was a degree of selection interviewing.          INBOUND REFERRALS
One of the applicants got the job and the rest got rejected.
Records were retained for legal reasons, but mostly                As much as your employees have social networks that are
remained untouched, and each time there was a new job it           full of potential employees, identified by data mining for
was rinse and repeat. Recruiting and applying for a job was        targeted messaging, the reverse also applies. Individuals
win/lose, pass/fail.                                               interested in your company as a potential employer are
                                                                   connected with your employees. As a potential candidate,
The problem with this methodology was that each time was           getting referred has real benefits over applying through
a whole new campaign, and those people who didn't get the          traditional methods.
job could be split in to two schools:
                                                                   - Referred candidates are prioritized for review and
- Those who fitted the culture and had good skills, but               feedback
  were beaten by a stronger applicant on the day.                  - Referred candidates avoid the ATS at point of entry
- Those who were a poor culture fit, illegible to work or           - Referred candidates come with a degree of
  unqualified/experienced against the skill set of the                recommendation according to the level of relationship
  employees of the company.
                                                                   Adding a ’get referred’ button to jobs, career sites, content
The growth of employer branding content created two new            and social places enable interested parties to see how they
groups.                                                            are connected with the company in order to request a
                                                                   referral. This has real benefits to populating the ERP
- Those who were interested in the company as a possible           because the interaction is driven by candidates requiring
  employer in the future, but were not yet ready to apply.         limited input and time by the employees. You also get to
- Those who were attracted to the company but did not fit           overcome the resistance some employees have over
  or have an interest in open vacancies.                           sharing jobs with friends because they feel it is intrusive.

Companies recognized that potential candidates who fitted
into the last three groups formed the best collection of           INTERNAL REFERRALS
people to source from. They had all shown some form of
interest in the company and could be tempted to apply              When we talk about referrals, we are usually thinking about
again when the timing was right. This marked the                   external candidates, but the modern ERP has a big part to
development of the talent network. The talent network              play in internal mobility. The CareerXRoads data for source
organizes connected people according to their profile,              of hire featured at the beginning of the paper shows that
skills, experience and location in order to send them              55% of hires are internal transfers and appointments.
relevant updates about jobs, culture, branding and content         Internal mobility goes hand in hand with retention and
in the channel of their choice. From the candidates point of       employer branding. The opportunity for advancement is
view this keeps them up to date with relevant information          one the biggest motivators in joining a new employer. The
and job opportunities, and the company gets to keep their          reality, though, in most organizations is that applying for
talent pipeline alive in advance of requirements.                  jobs internally is subject to internal politics, and not without
The evolution of the talent network brings a new dimension         personal career risk. Sideways moves within an
to the ERP. Employees can employ the same technology               organization are also often dependent on noticing an
and methodology to populate the network by setting                 opportunity on the intranet or notice board. Direct
profiles for the types of people that would fit with possible        approaches by recruiters within the organization are quite
future requirements and asking employees to send out               rare, meaning internal moves and promotions are usually
invites to join the talent network to their social                 driven by the company. Internal referrals, where employees
connections, based on data mining. Recruiters can also             can refer jobs to colleagues and refer them to hiring
populate the talent network by adding a one click sign up to       managers with a recommendation opens up internal
all content and jobs. Joining the network needs to be              mobility and have a big impact on the quality of hires.
simple, with data coming from social profiles such as
LinkedIn to keep messaging relevant. This results in every         When facilities management giant Sodexo introduced their
update from the ERP presenting an opportunity to connect           mobile app in 2012, more than 28% of candidates who
with potential future employees and to start engaging. The         applied for jobs via the mobile app were internal applicants,
more relevant content and jobs go to the right targeted            resulting in 55% of their hires.
audience, improving the culture and employer brand
awareness.




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                           9                                                  The Social Referral
The mobile app delivers different content if you are a               EXTERNAL REFERRALS
Sodexo employee, presenting all employees the
opportunity to apply for jobs or refer colleagues. As mobile         It is easy to think of the ERP being the domain of employees
adoption continues to grow, and mobility changes job                 current and past, but given the right marketing and
search, so internal referrals have the potential to form a           positioning, anyone with an interest in the business should
critical part of your ERP and make internal mobility a               be able to join and benefit. People want to help friends and
reality.                                                             contacts, and if a job is not of interest to them, why
                                                                     wouldn't they let a friend or contact know if you have made
                                                                     it easy to do so. External referral networks benefit from the
THE BOOMERANG COMMUNITY                                              same gamification and recognition features as the ERP,
                                                                     although you might want to consider different content and
Most people leave companies because the time is right for            a different user experience. This can be controlled by filters
them to take up a new challenge, or an opportunity                   at entry point on both web, mobile and mobile app entry.
elsewhere is just too good to resist. Increasingly, companies        External referrals may want more access to company
are recognizing the pool of ’good’ leavers as a great source         information and different rewards. All shared content
of hire. They are known to the company, their skills are             should contain a simple invite to join the talent network and
tested, and they already have relationships and                      the referral network with one click. The big consideration
connections in the company. These connections can be                 here is communicating that you will not mail any one of
utilized to prioritize referrals and filter searches and              their contacts, or scrape or store data. This will need more
referrals by:                                                        detailed explanations because internal employees will have
                                                                     a greater level of trust. Trust and transparency is the key
- Internal candidates                                                factor in gaining access to a network.
- Ex-employees
- External candidates

Whilst not all ex-employees will be ready to come back, the
vast majority will have had a good experience as an
employee and would be willing to recommend you to
others. Since leaving, they will have added to their inner
circle of social connections through new colleagues and
contacts. Invite all the good leavers to join your extended
ERP because this gives you access to their social networks,
and a recommendation from a leaver endorses the
company as well as, or better than, one from an employee.


CONTRACTOR NETWORKS

The world of work is changing, with more and more jobs
moving from traditional full time employment contracts to
contingency. Contractors are well connected with other
contractors of a similar type because of the transient
nature of their work. Contractors have mixed experiences
when it comes to their basic needs like finding interesting
work, getting paid correctly, accommodation etc.
Contractors look to other contractors for
recommendations from peers. If you work with contractors,
consider building a contractor referral portal. This could
include other services and recommendations useful to
contractors as well as open contracts, combined with a
talent network, rewards and competition. This is
particularly valuable to third party contract recruiters who
need the benefit of referral but have traditionally found it
hard to maintain.




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                            10                                                The Social Referral
SUMMARY




      1.       Referrals are changing, driven by social networking, online profiles and content marketing. The term
               ‘program’ suggests project or short term, when a real ERP should be built on creating different referral
               networks with different content according to status.

      2.       ERPs should be built around employees, taking into consideration their concerns in order to boost
               participation in improve the number of high quality candidates.

      3.       Access to networks and data mining means you can take a targeted approach to sharing content according
               to referral and reference.

      4.       Only part of the content is about the job. Employer and culture brand content creates brand awareness,
               and a talent network takes recruiting from transaction to relationship.

      5.       Rewards need to be transparent with simple rules, built around participation rather than hires, and
               gamification of the network will drive participation.

      6.       As relationships have changed, so referrals need ranking according to working knowledge. All referrals
               need timely review and reference regardless of suitability and accountability needs to be taken out of the
               referral process.

      7.       The networks, matching and messaging tech, combined with employer and culture branding initiatives can
               become your principle source of hire and populate your pipeline when you get your methodology,
               technology and messaging right.



               Now is the time to get serious about referrals.




RolePoint Inc © 2013                                             11                                             The Social Referral
We are the complete sourcing platform, helping you attract top industry talent through your employees.

                                        www.rolepoint.com
                                      enquiries@rolepoint.com

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The Social Referral, by Bill Boorman

  • 1. The Social Referral A RolePoint Whitepaper by Bill Boorman
  • 2.
  • 3. INTRODUCTION The fact that you are reading this paper means that you probably already recognize the benefits of leveraging an employee referral program for hiring. In May 2012 Dr. John Sullivan wrote in ERE about the top 10 benefits to referral recruiting: Hard data on the value and impact of employee referrals 1. Hire volume - Referrals are the #1 source in hiring volume. 1, 3 2. Hire quality - Referrals are also the #1 source for new hire quality. 1 3. Speed (application-to-hire time in days) - Referrals are the #1 fastest recruiting method (29 days for referrals, 39 days for job boards, and 45 days for career sites). 2 4. Average length of employment of all initial hires after one year (retention) - Referrals are #1 at 46% retention after 1one year(compared to 33% from career sites and 22% from job boards). 2 5. Average length of employment of all initial hires after two years (retention) - employee referrals are #1 at 45% retention after two years (compared to 20% from job boards after two years and 14% after three years). 2 6. Percentage of all applicants - Referrals are only 6.9% of applicants. 2 7. Percentage of all hires - 46% of all hires at top performing firms are referrals4, while for all firms, they range between 28%3 and 39.9% of all hires. 2 8. Applicant-to-hire ratio - Referrals are #1 and are hired at a rate of 1 out of 3 applications for top-performing firms and 1 out of 10 at average firms. Compare that to an average applicant to hire ratio of 1 out of 18 from all sources. 4 9. Cost per hire - Job boards hires cost on average $1,671 versus referral hiring costs of $2,306 (only $635 more). 4 10. Diversity impact - Despite the old myth that referrals have a negative diversity impact, referrals were #1 as the ‘most productive’ source for diversity hires, well ahead of major job boards, company affinity groups, and diversity career fairs. 3 1 Source — Staffing.org 2011 2 Source — Jobvite index 2012 3 Source — CareerXroads 2011 – 2012 4 Source — Dr. John Sullivan and Associates research 2008-2011 When you look at the data, and it has been well documented, it is easy to see why there has been a clamor to implement Employee Referral Programs. The most common way of doing this was to offer cash rewards for hired candidates introduced by employees. Given the cost of agency fees, which average between 20 and 25%, companies could offer significant cash rewards and still show a big reduction in the cost per hire. Attracted by this methodology, corporate companies set up schemes but reported problems with long term adoption. This paper will identify some of the barriers to widespread adoption and what can be done to break them down. RolePoint Inc © 2013 1 The Social Referral
  • 4. REFERRALS IN THE OLD SCHOOL The most common employee referral programs involve making open jobs visible to employees and asking for Defining referrals used to be simple; a referral was a recommendations. The process requires the employees to recommendation, and people only referred the people they provide potential candidate details, usually a resume or knew well and probably worked with. This was driven by LinkedIn profile, and to have gained permission from the memory, little black books and personal relationships. candidate to submit. Successful hires are rewarded with Volumes of referred candidates were low, but conversions cash payments, commonly after the completion of the were high because employees matched on skill, experience probationary period. As payments are involved, there is a and knowledge, and were recommended as a fit in all these due diligence process to qualify for payment. areas. There were pros and cons to the old school methodology: Pros Cons - High quality candidates with a good fit - Low volume of referral candidates - Endorsed skill level and employability - Geared towards new starters - Employees accountable for candidate fit - Admin heavy systems - High level of employee influence with the - Time taken to complete most referral candidate programs - Low cost of referral hires (even after bonuses) - Due diligence of referral rewards - Low conversion ratio of applied to interviewed - Asking employees to have the matching skills and interviewed to hired of recruiters - Diversity - Speed of hire - On-boarding and new starter mentoring through friends - Opportunity to reward employees RolePoint Inc © 2013 2 The Social Referral
  • 5. The benefits to referral recruiting are undisputed, with the submitted information reported that it took 10.4 referrals pros easily outweighing the cons, not least cost of hire. per hire, where as the other sources were in excess of 100. However, the low volumes of referrals means that even the most successful programs result in no more than 35% of all Given this data, which comes from a respected source of hires. The 2012 research into source of hire in the US, research, it is easy to see why companies place ERPs at the conducted by consultancy CareerXroads, identified that center of their recruiting efforts, and that 28% of hires among the 200 companies surveyed were the recommendations from employees provide the most result of referrals. The full data list is displayed in the chart valuable source of hire. The challenge companies face is below. finding new ways to increase the volume of referred candidates, maintain the quality of referrals and sustain the The remaining 55% of hires were attributed to internal flow of referrals on an on-going basis. transfers and promotions. The other interesting data to come out of this research is that the companies who SOURCES OF HIRE Referrals Job Boards Company Career Site Recruiter Initiated Rehire Social Media 3rd Part Recruiters Print ad Other RolePoint Inc © 2013 3 The Social Referral
  • 6. THE REFERRAL KILLERS and comments added etc. it is a common comment that “as much as I want to help out, I have a job to do.” The process It is easy to see why the best referral you are going to get is behind the ERP needs to be simple and quick, enabling when the referred candidate is known by the employee and employees to contribute without interfering with the time they have worked together. In our research in to how most available to do their real job. The more time involved in companies employ traditional employee referral schemes, searching, matching, communicating with potential there is a big emphasis on asking new starters. A number of candidates, recruiters and admin, employees will be less companies gave the example of sitting down with new likely to continue taking part. A successful ERP needs to be starters during their on boarding with a blank pad and admin light and built with the employee asking them to write down the contact details of former in mind. colleagues and friends who might be of interest to the company. The reason given for this is that new employees are most forthcoming with names, and usually of former 4. Not Their Job colleagues. The new employees are also keen to impress, and motivated by their new employer. Logic also follows Whilst an accountant might know plenty of accountants, that as this candidate was successful, former colleagues will their main job is working the numbers, not recruiting staff. likely have a similar skill set and experience. The more the accountants are asked to be recruiters and exercise judgment over which candidates to submit, the I have been involved in trouble shooting employee referral less confident they are in taking part. The volume of programs that are not generating the expected results. The referrals can be a good indicator of staff morale and the common denominator in these programs is that the ‘not my job’ attitude, so where there is little buy in, why company offer large cash rewards, but are confused why refer? It can also be a result of employees lacking this is not generating the volume of hires they are confidence in making judgment calls, linked to expecting. When speaking to the employees about why accountability. When employees are not required to make they are not taking a more active part in the ERP when the selection choices, ERPs go up. potential cash rewards are high, I have discovered that the most common barriers are: 5. Line Manager Buy In 1. Accountability Line managers need to see the ERP as being important to When an employee makes a recommendation, they take a their team, and the most effective way they can recruit. The risk on their personal reputation andthere is a risk that the communication of the ERP internally often focuses on the recruiters or hiring managers feel that their time has been benefit to the company and often misses out on the wasted. If the referred candidate is hired, there is the benefits to the individual employees of working with the additional risk that the candidate will not work out, and will best people they can, and the part they can play in it. Where always be known as their ’guy’, particularly given any time and resources areis invested in getting line manager financial rewards they may have been paid. buy in, they are far more willing to include conversations about referrals in team meetings, one to ones and more. Where referral figures are included in performance 2. Transparency reviews, then the ERP is kept front and center. This is probably the most common one. Where rewards for referred hires are high, there is a high level of due diligence, 6. Uncomfortable Approaching Friends About Jobs as well as tax implications. Examples I have been given for not paying the expected rewards are that the candidate Some employees feel uncomfortable approaching their was already known to the company and in the ATS, the friends about jobs with their employer and are unsure how paperwork was incorrectly completed or the employee did to make the first approach. They also feel that it is not upload a resume. Where there are cash rewards, there inappropriate to talk jobs with their friends, given the are plenty of reasons for saying no to a claim. The sense of confidential nature of careers. The best way to resolve this injustice proves to be a real cancer to many ERPs. To get an is to make the process easy and to offer training in the ERP to work, the rules need to be transparent and designed referral process and the employer brand. Training and to reward rather than penalize. When the system is seen as development to support the ERP will lead to success, with fair and reasonable, employees are far more willing to take employees being more confident in having career related part. conversations. Consider the training plan as part of the launch and on-going participation in the program. 3. Time Consuming Tied in with rewards is procedure, and procedure can be time consuming when due diligence is a driving factor. Where resumes have to be sought, uploaded or submitted RolePoint Inc © 2013 4 The Social Referral
  • 7. 7. Poor Candidate Experience THE SOCIAL DIFFERENCE When an employee reaches out to a contact, gains their Over the last 3 years, social networks have experienced interest in an opportunity and gets them to make an exponential growth. Employee networks have grown application, they have an expectation that they will be accordingly, offering access to structured career data treated in the right way. Global consultancy business through sites like LinkedIn in particular, and unstructured Accenture have adopted a highly successful ERP, which data through networks like Facebook. Employees are places candidate experience at the center. This is driven by continually adding new contacts and growing personal a service level agreement which sets time-scales for the networks. Job posting tools that share jobs into social review of referred candidates and for feedback. Whilst networks are often described as social referral tools, employees do not expect every candidate they refer to get though this is an inaccurate and misleading description. The an interview or a job, they do expect timely feedback and more sophisticated of these tools create unique links for due consideration, and when this does not happen, the sharing that enable employers to identify which of their referred candidate will go back to the employee who employees originated the share. This is useful for originated the application. Negative feedback to candidate recognition and reward, whilst the practice of sharing jobs experience will strangle any ERP initiatives. Recruitment in the wider network is to be encouraged in order to reach processes should be designed to operate referred job seekers who are browsing or using search engines to candidates as a separate channel, with time scales for identify opportunities. Job seekers are increasingly review and feedback to both the candidate and the connecting with their peers in organizations they want to employee who originated the application. work for. Encouraging employees to share jobs into their networks offers the potential to reach these connections, but it is only a chance. A direct message is always going to 8. Forgetting the ERP prove to be more effective. Most ERPs launch with great intentions, publicity and A referral is best defined as a personal recommendation fanfare but after a few months, employee enthusiasm and from one person to another. The traditional referral participation weans. There is always a new initiative each highlighted at the start of this paper is a good example of month, and referrals drop off the radar. This need not be this. The difference, though, between an old school referral the case with careful planning. When structuring an ERP and a social referral is the potential depth of the strategy, you need to think how you are going to promote relationship. All networks consist of an inner and outer the program and keep it prominent in the thoughts of circle. The inner circle, in terms of referral, includes those employees. These are some of the tactics companies have connections where an offline relationship exists based on employed to keep the ERP current month after month, year work interactions and personal knowledge. The outer circle after year. consists of those connections who have connected online through a shared interest, mutual connections or similar. - Weekly ’most wanted’ posters and communication This offers access to data for mining and matching, and - Weekly referral huddles and awards reach for personal messaging via an established connection. - Referral points and league table - Referral T-shirts (Rackspace use the caption: Takes one When you consider the potential reach offered by the to know one. Certified Racker Referrer) combined population of all of your employees who are - Weekly e-mail or newsletter willing to sign in to a social referral program, it’s easy to - Monthly referral picnic/party recognize the potential of operating your ERP around - Seasonal initiatives, Christmas etc social connections rather than personal address books, as in the traditional referral. The key here is to enable - Dedicated referral portal with alerts employees to weight the referrals they make, giving priority - Referrer awards and recognition to those in their inner circle whilst leaving the way open to - Accumulated points and prizes search all connections however distant for a skills and - Inclusion of referral data in performance reports experience match. The use of data mining technology - Hot jobs and skills lists enables recruiters to identify potential candidates based on - On-line referral badges skills and experience of any employee who permits access by signing up for the ERP. - Payment to a charity fund for hires These are just a few examples of how to keep promoting the ERP by planning out an annual campaign with regular employee communications. Celebrate successes publicly with open recognition, plan for on-going communication and get referrals on the agenda at every management and team meeting. RolePoint Inc © 2013 5 The Social Referral
  • 8. In order to make this method work employers need to: Social data for the U.S, According to SocialBakers.Com: - LinkedIn users: Mn 74,248, 222 Remove accountability for referrals - Facebook users: Mn 164,958,520 coming from social networks without personal recommendation. 71.82% 53.20% Use matching technology and alerts to advise employees where they can choose to pass on a referral with one click. 33.20% 23.94% Leave control of the message (and who to send it to) with the employee. LinkedIn Facebook Penetration of Online Population Provide reassurance that access to Penetration of Population personal social networks is for matching only and no data will be extracted or stored. WHAT DRIVES REFERRAL PROGRAMS Having studied successful ERPs, the most common denominator is a team of departmental champions outside Remove accountability for referrals of the recruiting team. The ERP team should be the ones coming from social networks without who drive the program, design rewards and build a personal recommendation. community of referrers inside and outside of the organization. The champions should be given the freedom to design the framework to get the most out of the ERP. Most companies designing a new scheme assume that Social referrals create pipelines, provided the matching offering cash is the main driver. We have found that more algorithm is good, and the messaging relevant. often than not, the complications associated with cash, from due diligence to taxation, hinders wide scale adoption. It is better to let the employees determine their own RELEVANCE OF REFERRAL MESSAGING rewards. These can be cumulative or instant. Small rewards and team rewards go much further than occasional cash The difference between a spam message and a worthwhile payments. message is relevance. Job opportunities and content shared by referral needs to be a good fit for the recipient, The other consideration in this is what to reward. Whilst and this means building confidence in the technology most ERPs reward hires only, is this actually what you want behind the ERP. Whilst potential candidates targeted by to be rewarding when there is only a 1:10 (or greater) the ERP do not expect to want or be in a position to apply, chance of success, followed by potential due diligence over they also want to be able to identify why they were process and candidate ownership? The more successful selected. No point offering a sales VP a job for a junior sales ERPs reward referrals rather than hires. This can be small clerk. The relevance must be clear to avoid spam thinking recognitions or awards, or gamification, typically by and to stay connected. The frequency of messaging needs rewarding each referral with a raffle ticket for a big prize to be left in the control of the employee to ensure buy in. such as a car. Getting rewards right for your employees is key, and you should never under estimate the power of reinforcing the desire among employees to get the best employees (and colleagues) into the company for everyone’s benefit. Public recognition and celebration can often go further than hard cash. RolePoint Inc © 2013 6 The Social Referral
  • 9. The key drivers to success of a social ERP are: The key is interaction, rather than static. Target candidates receiving an e-mail want to be able to hit a link and access - Easy participation relevant content wherever they are. - Simple process - Non recruiter champions MOBILITY AND THE SOCIAL REFERRAL - On-going communications and visibility - Celebrations of success The term mobility refers to the way that the explosion in - Recognition of contribution the use of smartphones and tablets has changed the way - Transparent rewards program people do things. People message and respond in down - Automated matching time between work and personal commitments, and they expect to be able to interact instantly. In the past, online job - Relationship weighting search and email messaging was locked by the need to be - Candidate experience on a PC. For recruiting, this mostly meant messaging or - Feedback to referrer sending out notifications and waiting a minimum of 24 hours for some kind of response. Mobility has changed all It is also critically important that employees can opt-in and this, with people using down times like when they are opt-out as they see fit. The technology aided social referral, commuting, on breaks and whilst watching TV in the with the addition of a ranking feature based on relationship evening to check in with messages, updates and emails. (inner/outer circle) retains the benefits of the traditional They are on the move and want to be able to access content referral whilst adding targeted reach. The best of both easily, viewable on a mobile device. They don't want to need methods. to navigate from page to page, and they want to be able to respond instantly. Responding by mobile device means that The next generation of social referral technology will add candidates are unable to provide extensive information, the facility for instant messaging and the micro job site. needing a one or two click expression of interest. This is ideal via social referral where the original profile can THE MICRO JOB SITE be tagged against the unique URL applied to the job. When the target clicks their interest, the aggregated profiles used Potential candidates want to see much more than job ads to match (such as a LinkedIn profile) can be imported from when considering whether to register interest or apply. the user profile. Receiving the message on a device in your Research and results show that potential candidates want pocket will incur response times and conversions. Even to research opportunities before hitting the apply button. social media giant Facebook consider themselves to be a Active job seekers are suffering from application fatigue, mobile, rather than a social company, and any ERP after spending time completing applications through the technology not built for mobile can be considered dated. employer ATS only to disappear in to a black hole and never Mobile referral technology, mobile landing pages, and push hear back. Before hitting apply, job seekers want to be notifications to trigger referral messaging are all key for confident that they have enough information to determine ensuring an effective mobile presence. that they have a reasonable chance of getting an interview. This means that they are looking to be able to find minimum requirements easily, with simple navigation to find information on the job. For passive job seekers, a job description is not enough to elicit interest. They want to be able to see rich content in their choice of media in order to recognize culture fit as well as capability. The job micro-site should tell the story behind the job, told in words, pictures and video, with access to contacts to ask questions and talk about a company and an opportunity before they are willing to hit apply and jump in to the process. The micro-site needs to offer social connections and the opportunity to communicate in the channel of their choice. When a potential candidate clicks on a link, they want to land on the job and find information and content easily. It is also important to note that 75% of emails are opened on a mobile device, which means any micro-site needs to be accessible and easy to navigate across platforms. Mobile changes the where and the how potential candidates want to interact with content. RolePoint Inc © 2013 7 The Social Referral
  • 10. Mobile data for the U.S. In 2012: Awarding points for activity and outcomes means employees can accumulate reward points to cash in against a series of rewards. Adding fun elements to rewards like spot competitions, bonus points for in demand people, and 4:1 48m vs 4.9m adding games like spin the wheel to win extra points or prizes keeps the attention on the ERP in a fun way. The best Smart phone owners vs computer owners iPhones vs Macbooks example of this I have seen is where employees achieving a certain number of points got the chance to spin the wheel, with prizes ranging from an old pair of jeans to beer for a year. A technical business in Boston had great success by 48% 50% awarding a raffle ticket for each referral. They held daily, of US mobile subscribers Growth in smartphone weekly and monthly draws to win spot prizes such as iPads own a Smart phone usage from 2011 – 2012 and Kindles. The end of the program was marked with a draw for a car. The draw was promoted with plenty of branded content, with ample communication over volumes and a league table. This resulted in over 30 hires of high profile IT professionals. The car was a great centerpiece, 91% 2013 and a small investment given the return. Plugging in to competition, fun and recognizing referral champions of Americans have their mobile surpass computers mobile device on 24/7 for internet access results in a community feel to the ERP, particularly when combined with other employer/culture branding efforts. CULTURE BRANDING AND THE ERP 1 in 7 16.9% When we talk referrals, we tend to automatically think that internet searches are black Monday shopping was this means enlisting the help of employees to share jobs conducted via mobile a mobile transaction with members of their network who have the skills to fit the opportunity. Increasingly companies are paying more attention to culture branding, using social media to provide a window in to their organization in order to enable potential candidates to elect in to connect and follow the 94% Only 20% company and opt out if there is no fit. Potential candidates of Smartphone users search are increasingly looking for more information on the real business services by mobile, of businesses have invested 90% have made a in a mobile device. values and culture of the company. This marks the shift transaction. from transactional recruiting on a job by job basis, to relationship based recruiting, with potential candidates wanting to get to know an organization before applying. *All data taken from www.Imomentus.com/Download Feb With so much noise in the social media content in the social 2012. channels, it is easy to lose content and is hard to pinpoint target audience. Innovative thinking about ERPs uses the same data mining, matching and referral technology to GAMIFICATION refer content on a one to one basis to targeted connections. Personal referrals of content are far more When we talk gamification, we often get the image of likely to be seen and opened, increasing appeal and culture Farmville and other online games and game platforms. brand awareness amongst a network of people who rank Gamification, however, is being widely adopted in to highly on the employability scale. Employability is based on business practice. Awarding points for referral inputs and skills, experience, culture fit, location and other factors. outcomes encourage competition between employees and Content connects people with organizations, and referred teams. Online badges recognize contributions from all content makes sure that these are the right people to fill employees, and can be tied in to social status and future requirements. performance review. The greater the recognition from management, the more employees look to achieve the standard. Competition is a big driver among colleagues and teams. RolePoint Inc © 2013 8 The Social Referral
  • 11. POPULATING THE TALENT NETWORK THROUGH It is conceivable that as company talent networks grow, REFERRAL there will be a tipping point where there will be no need to search outside of this network, and every ’member’ will Recruiting, for the most part, has been transactional in the have a level of relationship with the company. Referrals past. Jobs got posted on static websites, job boards and present a great opportunity to build the talent network to printed media. Applicants applied online and went to an this level. applicant tracking system, provided information, answered questions (with some killer questions) and uploaded a resume. Next step was a degree of selection interviewing. INBOUND REFERRALS One of the applicants got the job and the rest got rejected. Records were retained for legal reasons, but mostly As much as your employees have social networks that are remained untouched, and each time there was a new job it full of potential employees, identified by data mining for was rinse and repeat. Recruiting and applying for a job was targeted messaging, the reverse also applies. Individuals win/lose, pass/fail. interested in your company as a potential employer are connected with your employees. As a potential candidate, The problem with this methodology was that each time was getting referred has real benefits over applying through a whole new campaign, and those people who didn't get the traditional methods. job could be split in to two schools: - Referred candidates are prioritized for review and - Those who fitted the culture and had good skills, but feedback were beaten by a stronger applicant on the day. - Referred candidates avoid the ATS at point of entry - Those who were a poor culture fit, illegible to work or - Referred candidates come with a degree of unqualified/experienced against the skill set of the recommendation according to the level of relationship employees of the company. Adding a ’get referred’ button to jobs, career sites, content The growth of employer branding content created two new and social places enable interested parties to see how they groups. are connected with the company in order to request a referral. This has real benefits to populating the ERP - Those who were interested in the company as a possible because the interaction is driven by candidates requiring employer in the future, but were not yet ready to apply. limited input and time by the employees. You also get to - Those who were attracted to the company but did not fit overcome the resistance some employees have over or have an interest in open vacancies. sharing jobs with friends because they feel it is intrusive. Companies recognized that potential candidates who fitted into the last three groups formed the best collection of INTERNAL REFERRALS people to source from. They had all shown some form of interest in the company and could be tempted to apply When we talk about referrals, we are usually thinking about again when the timing was right. This marked the external candidates, but the modern ERP has a big part to development of the talent network. The talent network play in internal mobility. The CareerXRoads data for source organizes connected people according to their profile, of hire featured at the beginning of the paper shows that skills, experience and location in order to send them 55% of hires are internal transfers and appointments. relevant updates about jobs, culture, branding and content Internal mobility goes hand in hand with retention and in the channel of their choice. From the candidates point of employer branding. The opportunity for advancement is view this keeps them up to date with relevant information one the biggest motivators in joining a new employer. The and job opportunities, and the company gets to keep their reality, though, in most organizations is that applying for talent pipeline alive in advance of requirements. jobs internally is subject to internal politics, and not without The evolution of the talent network brings a new dimension personal career risk. Sideways moves within an to the ERP. Employees can employ the same technology organization are also often dependent on noticing an and methodology to populate the network by setting opportunity on the intranet or notice board. Direct profiles for the types of people that would fit with possible approaches by recruiters within the organization are quite future requirements and asking employees to send out rare, meaning internal moves and promotions are usually invites to join the talent network to their social driven by the company. Internal referrals, where employees connections, based on data mining. Recruiters can also can refer jobs to colleagues and refer them to hiring populate the talent network by adding a one click sign up to managers with a recommendation opens up internal all content and jobs. Joining the network needs to be mobility and have a big impact on the quality of hires. simple, with data coming from social profiles such as LinkedIn to keep messaging relevant. This results in every When facilities management giant Sodexo introduced their update from the ERP presenting an opportunity to connect mobile app in 2012, more than 28% of candidates who with potential future employees and to start engaging. The applied for jobs via the mobile app were internal applicants, more relevant content and jobs go to the right targeted resulting in 55% of their hires. audience, improving the culture and employer brand awareness. RolePoint Inc © 2013 9 The Social Referral
  • 12. The mobile app delivers different content if you are a EXTERNAL REFERRALS Sodexo employee, presenting all employees the opportunity to apply for jobs or refer colleagues. As mobile It is easy to think of the ERP being the domain of employees adoption continues to grow, and mobility changes job current and past, but given the right marketing and search, so internal referrals have the potential to form a positioning, anyone with an interest in the business should critical part of your ERP and make internal mobility a be able to join and benefit. People want to help friends and reality. contacts, and if a job is not of interest to them, why wouldn't they let a friend or contact know if you have made it easy to do so. External referral networks benefit from the THE BOOMERANG COMMUNITY same gamification and recognition features as the ERP, although you might want to consider different content and Most people leave companies because the time is right for a different user experience. This can be controlled by filters them to take up a new challenge, or an opportunity at entry point on both web, mobile and mobile app entry. elsewhere is just too good to resist. Increasingly, companies External referrals may want more access to company are recognizing the pool of ’good’ leavers as a great source information and different rewards. All shared content of hire. They are known to the company, their skills are should contain a simple invite to join the talent network and tested, and they already have relationships and the referral network with one click. The big consideration connections in the company. These connections can be here is communicating that you will not mail any one of utilized to prioritize referrals and filter searches and their contacts, or scrape or store data. This will need more referrals by: detailed explanations because internal employees will have a greater level of trust. Trust and transparency is the key - Internal candidates factor in gaining access to a network. - Ex-employees - External candidates Whilst not all ex-employees will be ready to come back, the vast majority will have had a good experience as an employee and would be willing to recommend you to others. Since leaving, they will have added to their inner circle of social connections through new colleagues and contacts. Invite all the good leavers to join your extended ERP because this gives you access to their social networks, and a recommendation from a leaver endorses the company as well as, or better than, one from an employee. CONTRACTOR NETWORKS The world of work is changing, with more and more jobs moving from traditional full time employment contracts to contingency. Contractors are well connected with other contractors of a similar type because of the transient nature of their work. Contractors have mixed experiences when it comes to their basic needs like finding interesting work, getting paid correctly, accommodation etc. Contractors look to other contractors for recommendations from peers. If you work with contractors, consider building a contractor referral portal. This could include other services and recommendations useful to contractors as well as open contracts, combined with a talent network, rewards and competition. This is particularly valuable to third party contract recruiters who need the benefit of referral but have traditionally found it hard to maintain. RolePoint Inc © 2013 10 The Social Referral
  • 13. SUMMARY 1. Referrals are changing, driven by social networking, online profiles and content marketing. The term ‘program’ suggests project or short term, when a real ERP should be built on creating different referral networks with different content according to status. 2. ERPs should be built around employees, taking into consideration their concerns in order to boost participation in improve the number of high quality candidates. 3. Access to networks and data mining means you can take a targeted approach to sharing content according to referral and reference. 4. Only part of the content is about the job. Employer and culture brand content creates brand awareness, and a talent network takes recruiting from transaction to relationship. 5. Rewards need to be transparent with simple rules, built around participation rather than hires, and gamification of the network will drive participation. 6. As relationships have changed, so referrals need ranking according to working knowledge. All referrals need timely review and reference regardless of suitability and accountability needs to be taken out of the referral process. 7. The networks, matching and messaging tech, combined with employer and culture branding initiatives can become your principle source of hire and populate your pipeline when you get your methodology, technology and messaging right. Now is the time to get serious about referrals. RolePoint Inc © 2013 11 The Social Referral
  • 14. We are the complete sourcing platform, helping you attract top industry talent through your employees. www.rolepoint.com enquiries@rolepoint.com