How Employee Referrals Will Drive Hiring Success in 2018

Guest post by Jessica Woloszyn Content Strategy Associate at iCIMS.

Recruiting great employees who will not only fit in with existing company culture, but enhance that through new ideas and desired competencies has always been top of mind for organizations. Now, unemployment rates are providing job seekers with more power in the hiring process, causing more complexity in the recruitment process, and making the strategy organizations select for talent acquisition absolutely crucial to business success. As a new year approaches and employers begin to think about new ways to engage the right talent, it may be time to turn back to basics.

Employee referrals are continuously rated as a top source of quality hires, and iCIMS Modern Job Seeker Report found that 77 percent of employees are currently working for a company that has a formal employee referral program. The alarming fact however, is that one in five employees are unsatisfied with the program their employer is providing.

As 2018 quickly approaches, organizations have an opportunity to stay ahead of the competition by reinvesting in a modern employee referral program to drive successful hiring.

  1. An Easily Accessible Employee Referral Program Increases Participation

    The first step to ensuring employees jump on board with an employee referral program is to make it accessible and simple to take part in. Today’s employees are used to flexible and easy applications such as Amazon, Buzzfeed, Uber and Tinder to manage everyday tasks through a personalized experience. Knowing that 98 percent of millennials are utilizing a smartphone at all times, the idea of having an application dedicated to employee referrals will certainly spark interest in the program itself. Not only does this allow employees to input referrals at their convenience to increase participation, but it also allows recruiters to take action promptly on great referrals and conduct any follow up as necessary.

  2. Social Capabilities Extend the Reach of Job Postings from the Employee Voice

    Great employees are more likely to have built out relationships with other like-minded individuals overtime, who could be looking for employment at this very moment. An employee may not know of every passive job seeker in their network, but with the ability to share open positions right to their social media accounts, there is a better chance of reaching the right person for the job. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook stand strong as some of the most powerful tools available to recruiters today, and with millennials becoming the largest generation in the workforce, programs that leverage social media will naturally have higher satisfaction rates. Allowing employees to automate job postings to populate their news feed is an easy way to get them on board, and get employer branding in front of job seekers in the place they are looking most.

  3. Gamification Rewards Engagement and Displays the Organization’s Value of Referrals

    In addition to an easy process for submitting referrals, organizations who can engage employees with gamification to reward participation and create a little bit of friendly competition receive greater success with their program’s adoption. When employees know they could potentially earn prizes for submitting great candidates, consistent referral activity is much more likely. Organizations can establish awards and recognition for reaching milestones such as submitting a certain number of referrals per month, or submitting referrals for three areas of the business. This way, the organization’s value for referred candidates is clearly communicated and employees can see that their efforts are truly appreciated.

  4. Integrated Software Increases Efficiency and Saves Time

    To further reduce the complexity of today’s talent acquisition landscape, organizations are looking to integrate all tools used for recruitment within one, consistent workflow for recruiters. Integrating an employee referral program with a dedicated recruitment solution helps organizations better-identify quality talent quickly, while maintaining data within one location to reduce the likelihood of error. Recruiters can save time with consistent input of employee referrals into their existing recruitment workflows, alongside all other candidate information as the hiring process begins. Streamlined data also allows for active measurement of the return on investment an organization is receiving from its employee referral program, to easily determine areas in which it can pivot engagement strategies for future success.

The new year brings new opportunities for recruitment success, and the right employee referral program truly has the power to drive hiring success in 2018. Want to get a jump start on leveraging employee referral programs before the new year? Uncover the role your employees can play to stay ahead of high-volume holiday hiring this season with “3 Hiring Tips to Prepare for the Hectic Holiday Hiring Season”.