Boost Applicant Flow Through the Power of Employee Referrals
you're a smaller business and you're comparing yourself to the big giant Goliath in the world.
Then, someone like me comes along and suggests that employee referrals are the solution to your lack of applicant flow for your jobs.
I pretty much only talk about employer referrals these days.
Employee referrals have so much power.
Yet, so few companies are engaging in it.
It usually comes down to one of two reasons...
- If a company is large and has its own HR person, then they say that it's going to cause bias. If that's your concern, let me know and I'll give you the rundown of how to set it up so that it doesn't.
- If a company is smaller, they don't engage employee referrals because they feel like they don't have enough employees to be successful at it. Basically, they feel they are going to expend a lot of effort and only get a few applicants.
I'm going to dispel that myth!
You will learn...
WHY employee referrals are so valuable
HOW to set up your program to amplify your applicant results with the least amount of work.
As a smaller business, we believe that the results of the employee referral program equal...
'The number of employees' x 'How much you're willing to pay out'
Therefore, as a small business, you look and you say... Well, it won't be very successful because I can't pay out enough money or I don't have enough employees to pay.
This is a false premise... and let me explain why.
Employees generally don't do employee referrals just for the money.
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While money is one aspect of it, it is not the core reason. The majority of employees refer because they want to do something to help out the company and be SEEN doing it.
This is where you actually have more power as a small business. In small businesses, we view the company as the "founding team/owner/boss." It's him/her we work for, not the company, which makes employees want to do things to be seen as valuable to them.
Small companies have more power to get the message out about employee referrals and to say thank you. The communication will be coming from the owner or C-level executives... not just somebody in HR.
There's no problem with people in HR, but the fact of the matter is... employees, for the most part, want to refer to the person they view as their boss.
There's an extra level of power that comes when you're the one suggesting it.
If it's not money, then...
How do we compensate our employees for employee referrals?
Well, you definitely should pay for referrals that you hire, but there are also two other compensation models that you have to keep in mind...
You compensate them by saying thank you. Make a big deal out of it. Give them credit in front of your team for referring that person.
You make it competitive between your employees, teams, or the company as a whole. If you focus on the competition during any given month, for applicants, you will see that the engagement goes way, way up.
It's not about the money, it doesn't matter how small we are. In fact, maybe those things that we thought were curses are actually blessings. Now we can level up the game by saying... Well, what could we do to drive that?
Employees aren't recruiters.
They shouldn't be focused on bringing you their best friend that they've known forever. They shouldn't be vouching for that person that says they're awesome. While that does make sense, it dramatically increases the amount of friction and makes it harder for the employee to do their job.
They don't really know who you're looking for... So, they don't suggest their friend because they don't want to feel stupid about it.
They don't know what you're looking for... So, they don't want to invest their time engaging their friend for you, because they don't want to let you down by being wrong.
More importantly... they don't go out of their way like that and invest all that time because you're most likely not paying them enough to justify that effort.
Instead, your paradigm should be that your employees are job sharers. They're the ones to share the jobs out on Facebook and social media.
Your application process is where you ask screening questions...
It's where you filter out the riff-raff and get to the best people. So, when you change your paradigm about employee referrals, what you need to do is talk to your team about it.
Specifically, what you're saying is...
Did you guys share the jobs?
Could you please go share our job ads?
Could you post on Facebook, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or Instagram and tell people that we're hiring?
It's not just that they're spreading the message so you don't have to. Their message has more credibility than you get by sharing as the company or business owner.
As consumers in America, we have a lack of trust toward the promises shared by corporations or owners.
But... we do trust other consumers, right?
We trust reviews on Yelp, on hotel sites, and on Google. We go to restaurants that a friend suggested on Facebook. We go to hotels that a friend suggested on Facebook.
If that's true... then the consumers of your job ad are your current employees... they're the ones doing it.
When employees share a job, they are giving their stamp of approval. They are giving the job credibility.
It won't just drive up the quantity of applicants, but also the quality of those applicants as well.
Low-quality applicants will apply to your job no matter what because they're desperate.
Good-quality applicants are the ones currently on the fence about quitting their job. When a person they know, an actual employee of the company, gives a stamp of approval, they give the job extra credibility. They'll be far less hesitant to throw their hat in the ring and apply.
This is why small businesses should do employee referrals.
Here is my proof...
I recently lost an employee who worked for me for three and a half years. I'd helped him progress his career as he left.
In the months since he's left, he has now referred four people to me.
This isn't an employee referring applicants. This is an ex-employee referring applicants.
He is still paying me back, his previous boss, with things that are valuable to me... new hires. He knows they're valuable because I talk about it. He continues to do it without expectation of payment.
Yet... he continues to refer people to me.
He's referring people to the experience of working with me. My company helped him progress his career and life while paying him well. Therefore, he's paying me back by referring people to come work for me, even after he has left!
Check out my Employee Referral Flywheel Guide to better your employee referral program and generate quality applicants and powerful hires!
With little effort, employee referrals can give you the biggest boost to your applicant flow! Your employees can be job sharers and a credible applicant source.
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