RolePoint: The Social Referral


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Employee referrals represent the most effective way to hire the best talent. Learn how social networks can boost the reach of your employee referral program and allow you to find the best quality candidates for your roles whilst reducing your costs and time to hire.

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RolePoint: The Social Referral

  1. 1. The Social Referral A RolePoint Whitepaper by Bill Boorman
  2. 2. 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 one 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 — 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, 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
  3. 3. REFERRALS IN THE OLD SCHOOL Defining referrals used to be simple; a referral was a recommendation, and people only referred the people they knew well and probably worked with. This was driven by memory, little black books and personal relationships. Volumes of referred candidates were low, but conversions were high because employees matched on skill, experience and knowledge, and were recommended as a fit in all these areas. The most common employee referral programs involve making open jobs visible to employees and asking for recommendations. The process requires the employees to provide potential candidate details, usually a resume or LinkedIn profile, and to have gained permission from the candidate to submit. Successful hires are rewarded with cash payments, commonly after the completion of the probationary period. As payments are involved, there is a due diligence process to qualify for payment. 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 - Employee is accountable for candidate fit - Admin heavy systems - High level of employee influence with the candidate - Time taken to complete most referral programs - Low cost of referral hires (even after bonuses) - Due diligence of referral rewards - Low conversion ratio of applied to interviewed and interviewed to hired - Asking employees to have the matching skills 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
  4. 4. The benefits to referral recruiting are undisputed, with the pros easily outweighing the cons, not least cost of hire. However, the low volumes of referrals means that even the most successful programs result in no more than 35% of all hires. The 2012 research into source of hire in the US, conducted by consultancy CareerXroads, identified that 28% of hires among the 200 companies surveyed were the result of referrals. The full data list is displayed in the chart below. submitted information reported that it took 10.4 referrals per hire, where as the other sources were in excess of 100. Given this data, which comes from a respected source of research, it is easy to see why companies place ERPs at the center of their recruiting efforts, and that recommendations from employees provide the most valuable source of hire. The challenge companies face is finding new ways to increase the volume of referred candidates, maintain the quality of referrals and sustain the flow of referrals on an on-going basis. The remaining 55% of hires were attributed to internal 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 Party Recruiters Print ad Other RolePoint Inc © 2013 3 The Social Referral
  5. 5. 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 behind the ERP needs to be simple and quick, enabling employees to contribute without interfering with the time available to do their real job. The more time involved in searching, matching, communicating with potential candidates, recruiters and admin, employees will be less likely to continue taking part. A successful ERP needs to be admin light and built with the employee in mind. It is easy to see why the best referral you are going to get is when the referred candidate is known by the employee and they have worked together. In our research into how most companies employ traditional employee referral schemes, there is a big emphasis on asking new hires. A number of companies gave the example of sitting down with new hires during their on boarding with a blank pad and asking them to write down the contact details of former 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 colleagues. The new employees are also keen to impress, and motivated by their new employer. Logic also follows that as this candidate was successful, former colleagues will likely have a similar skill set and experience. 4. Not Their Job Whilst an accountant might know plenty of accountants, their main job is working the numbers, not recruiting staff. The more the accountants are asked to be recruiters and exercise judgment over which candidates to submit, the less confident they are in taking part. The volume of referrals can be a good indicator of staff morale and the ‘not my job’ attitude, so where there is little buy in, why refer? It can also be a result of employees lacking confidence in making judgment calls, linked to accountability. When employees are not required to make selection choices, ERPs go up. I have been involved in trouble shooting employee referral programs that are not generating the expected results. The common denominator in these programs is that the company offer large cash rewards, but are confused why this is not generating the volume of hires they are expecting. When speaking to the employees about why they are not taking a more active part in the ERP when the 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 their team, and the most effective way they can recruit. The communication of the ERP internally often focuses on the benefit to the company and often misses out on the benefits to the individual employees of working with the best people they can, and the part they can play in it. Where time and resources are invested in getting line manager 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 reviews, then the ERP is kept front and center. When an employee makes a recommendation, they take a risk on their personal reputation andthere is a risk that the recruiters or hiring managers feel that their time has been wasted. If the referred candidate is hired, there is the additional risk that the candidate will not work out, and will always be known as their ’guy’, particularly given any financial rewards they may have been paid. 2. Transparency This is probably the most common one. Where rewards for referred hires are high, there is a high level of due diligence, as well as tax implications. Examples I have been given for not paying the expected rewards are that the candidate was already known to the company and in the ATS, the paperwork was incorrectly completed or the employee did not upload a resume. Where there are cash rewards, there are plenty of reasons for saying no to a claim. The sense of injustice proves to be a real cancer to many ERPs. To get an ERP to work, the rules need to be transparent and designed to reward rather than penalize. When the system is seen as fair and reasonable, employees are far more willing to take part. 6. Uncomfortable Approaching Friends About Jobs Some employees feel uncomfortable approaching their friends about jobs with their employer and are unsure how to make the first approach. They also feel that it is inappropriate to talk jobs with their friends, given the confidential nature of careers. The best way to resolve this is to make the process easy and to offer training in the referral process and promoting the employer brand. Training and development to support the ERP will lead to success, with employees being more confident in having career related 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
  6. 6. 7. Poor Candidate Experience THE SOCIAL DIFFERENCE When an employee reaches out to a contact, gains their interest in an opportunity and gets them to make an application, they have an expectation that they will be treated in the right way. Global consultancy business Accenture have adopted a highly successful ERP, which places candidate experience at the center. This is driven by a service level agreement which sets time-scales for the review of referred candidates and for feedback. Whilst employees do not expect every candidate they refer to get an interview or a job, they do expect timely feedback and due consideration, and when this does not happen, the referred candidate will go back to the employee who originated the application. Negative feedback to candidate experience will strangle any ERP initiatives. Recruitment processes should be designed to operate referred candidates as a separate channel, with time scales for review and feedback to both the candidate and the employee who originated the application. Over the last three years, social networks have experienced exponential growth. Employee networks have grown accordingly, offering access to structured career data through sites like LinkedIn in particular, and unstructured data through networks like Facebook. Employees are continually adding new contacts and growing personal networks. Job posting tools that share jobs into social networks are often described as social referral tools, though this is an inaccurate and misleading description. The more sophisticated of these tools create unique links for sharing that enable employers to identify which of their employees originated the share. This is useful for recognition and reward, whilst the practice of sharing jobs in the wider network is to be encouraged in order to reach job seekers who are browsing or using search engines to identify opportunities. Job seekers are increasingly connecting with their peers in organizations they want to 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 prove to be more effective. 8. Forgetting the ERP Most ERPs launch with great intentions, publicity and fanfare but after a few months, employee enthusiasm and participation weans. There is always a new initiative each month, and referrals drop off the radar. This need not be the case with careful planning. When structuring an ERP strategy, you need to think how you are going to promote the program and keep it prominent in the thoughts of employees. These are some of the tactics companies have employed to keep the ERP current month after month, year after year. - A referral is best defined as a personal recommendation from one person to another. The traditional referral highlighted at the start of this paper is a good example of this. The difference, though, between an old school referral and a social referral is the potential depth of the relationship. All networks consist of an inner and outer circle. The inner circle, in terms of referral, includes those connections where an offline relationship exists based on work interactions and personal knowledge. The outer circle consists of those connections who have connected online through a shared interest, mutual connections or similar. This offers access to data for mining and matching, and reach for personal messaging via an established connection. Weekly ’most wanted’ posters and communication Weekly referral huddles and awards Referral points and leader board Referral T-shirts (Rackspace use the caption: Takes one to know one. Certified Racker Referrer) Weekly e-mail or newsletter Monthly referral picnic/party Seasonal initiatives, Christmas etc. Dedicated referral portal with alerts Referrer awards and recognition Accumulated points and prizes Inclusion of referral data in performance reports Hot jobs and skills lists On-line referral badges Payment to a charity fund for hires When you consider the potential reach offered by the combined population of all of your employees who are willing to sign in to a social referral program, it’s easy to recognize the potential of operating your ERP around social connections rather than personal address books, as in the traditional referral. The key here is to enable employees to weight the referrals they make, giving priority to those in their inner circle whilst leaving the way open to search all connections however distant for a skills and experience match. The use of data mining technology enables recruiters to identify potential candidates based on skills and experience of any employee who permits access by signing up for the ERP. 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
  7. 7. In order to make this method work employers need to: Social data for the U.S, According to SocialBakers.Com: - LinkedIn users: 74,248, 222 - Facebook users: 164,958,520 Remove accountability for referrals 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 Penetration of Population Provide reassurance that access to 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 of the recruiting team. The ERP team should be the ones who drive the program, design rewards and build a 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 offering cash is the main driver. We have found that more 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 rewards. These can be cumulative or instant. Small rewards and team rewards go much further than occasional cash payments. Remove accountability for referrals coming from social networks without personal recommendation. Social referrals create pipelines, provided the matching algorithm is good, and the messaging relevant. RELEVANCE OF REFERRAL MESSAGING The difference between a spam message and a worthwhile message is relevance. Job opportunities and content shared by referral needs to be a good fit for the recipient, and this means building confidence in the technology behind the ERP. Whilst potential candidates targeted by the ERP do not expect to want or be in a position to apply, they also want to be able to identify why they were selected. No point offering a sales VP a job for a junior sales clerk. The relevance must be clear to avoid spam and to stay connected. The frequency of messaging needs to be left in the control of the employee to ensure buy in. RolePoint Inc © 2013 The other consideration in this is what to reward. Whilst most ERPs reward hires only, is this actually what you want to be rewarding when there is only a 1:10 (or lower) chance of success, followed by potential due diligence over process and candidate ownership? The more successful ERPs reward referrals rather than hires. This can be small recognitions or awards, or gamification, typically by rewarding each referral with a raffle ticket for a big prize 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. 6 The Social Referral
  8. 8. 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 relevant content wherever they are. Easy participation Simple process Non recruiter champions On-going communications and visibility Celebrations of success Recognition of contribution Transparent rewards program Automated matching Relationship weighting Candidate experience Feedback to referrer MOBILITY AND THE SOCIAL REFERRAL The term mobility refers to the way that the explosion in the use of smartphones and tablets has changed the way people do things. People message and respond in down time between work and personal commitments, and they expect to be able to interact instantly. In the past, online job search and email messaging was locked by the need to be on a PC. For recruiting, this mostly meant messaging or sending out notifications and waiting a minimum of 24 hours for some kind of response. Mobility has changed all this, with people using down times like when they are commuting, on breaks and whilst watching TV in the evening to check in with messages, updates and emails. They are on the move and want to be able to access content easily, viewable on a mobile device. They don't want to need to navigate from page to page, and they want to be able to respond instantly. Responding by mobile device means that candidates are unable to provide extensive information, needing a one or two click expression of interest. It is also critically important that employees can opt-in and opt-out as they see fit. The technology aided social referral, with the addition of a ranking feature based on relationship (inner/outer circle), retains the benefits of the traditional referral whilst adding targeted reach. The best of both methods. The next generation of social referral technology will add the facility for instant messaging and the micro job site. This is ideal via social referral where the original profile can be tagged against the unique URL applied to the job. When the target clicks their interest, the aggregated profiles used to match (such as a LinkedIn profile) can be imported from the user profile. Receiving the message on a device in your pocket will incur response times and conversions. Even social media giant Facebook consider themselves to be a mobile, rather than a social company, and any ERP technology not built for mobile can be considered dated. Mobile referral technology, mobile landing pages, and push notifications to trigger referral messaging are all key for ensuring an effective mobile presence. THE MICRO JOB SITE Potential candidates want to see much more than job ads when considering whether to register interest or apply. Research and results show that potential candidates want to research opportunities before hitting the apply button. Active job seekers are suffering from application fatigue, after spending time completing applications through the employer ATS only to disappear in to a black hole and never hear back. Before hitting apply, job seekers want to be confident that they have enough information to determine 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
  9. 9. Mobile data for the U.S. In 2012: 4:1 Smart phone owners vs computer owners 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 adding games like spin the wheel to win extra points or prizes keeps the attention on the ERP in a fun way. The best 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. 48m vs 4.9m iPhones vs Macbooks 48% of US mobile subscribers own a Smart phone Growth in smartphone usage from 2011 – 2012 91% 2013 of Americans have their mobile device on 24/7 A technical business in Boston had great success by awarding a raffle ticket for each referral. They held daily, weekly and monthly draws to win spot prizes such as iPads 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, and a small investment given the return. Plugging in to competition, fun and recognizing referral champions results in a community feel to the ERP, particularly when combined with other employer/culture branding efforts. 50% mobile surpass computers for internet access CULTURE BRANDING AND THE ERP 1 in 7 16.9% internet searches are conducted via mobile Black Monday shopping was a mobile transaction 94% of Smartphone users search business services by mobile, 90% have made a transaction. When we talk referrals, we tend to automatically think that this means enlisting the help of employees to share jobs 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 opt-in to connect and follow the company and opt out if there is no fit. Potential candidates are increasingly looking for more information on the real values and culture of the company. This marks the shift 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. With so much noise in the social media content in the social 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 refer content on a one to one basis to targeted connections. Personal referrals of content are far more likely to be seen and opened, increasing appeal and culture brand awareness amongst a network of people who rank highly on the employability scale. Employability is based on skills, experience, culture fit, location and other factors. Content connects people with organizations, and referred content makes sure that these are the right people to fill future requirements. Only 20% of businesses have invested in a mobile device. *All data taken from Feb 2012. GAMIFICATION When we talk gamification, we often get the image of Farmville and other online games and game platforms. Gamification, however, is being widely adopted in to business practice. Awarding points for referral inputs and outcomes encourage competition between employees and teams. Online badges recognize contributions from all employees, and can be tied in to social status and 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
  10. 10. POPULATING THE TALENT NETWORK THROUGH REFERRAL It is conceivable that as company talent networks grow, there will be a tipping point where there will be no need to search outside of this network, and every ’member’ will have a level of relationship with the company. Referrals present a great opportunity to build the talent network to this level. Recruiting, for the most part, has been transactional in the past. Jobs got posted on static websites, job boards and printed media. Applicants applied online and went to an applicant tracking system, provided information, answered questions (with some knock out questions) and uploaded a resume. Next step was a degree of selection interviewing. One of the applicants got the job and the rest got rejected. Records were retained for legal reasons, but mostly remained untouched, and each time there was a new job it was rinse and repeat. Recruiting and applying for a job was win/lose, pass/fail. INBOUND REFERRALS As much as your employees have social networks that are full of potential employees, identified by data mining for targeted messaging, the reverse also applies. Individuals interested in your company as a potential employer are connected with your employees. As a potential candidate, getting referred has real benefits over applying through traditional methods. The problem with this methodology was that each time was a whole new campaign, and those people who didn't get the job could be split in to two schools: - Referred candidates are prioritized for review and feedback - Referred candidates avoid the ATS at point of entry - Referred candidates come with a degree of recommendation according to the level of relationship - Those who fitted the culture and had good skills, but were beaten by a stronger applicant on the day. - Those who were a poor culture fit, not eligible to work or unqualified/invexperienced against the skill set of the employees of the company. Adding a ’get referred’ button to jobs, career sites, content and social places enable interested parties to see how they are connected with the company in order to request a referral. This has real benefits to populating the ERP because the interaction is driven by requiring minimal input and time by the candidates and employees. You also get to overcome the resistance some employees have over sharing jobs with friends because they feel it is intrusive. The growth of employer branding content created two new groups. - Those who were interested in the company as a possible employer in the future, but were not yet ready to apply. - Those who were attracted to the company but did not fit or have an interest in open vacancies. Companies recognized that potential candidates who fitted into the last two groups formed the best collection of people to source from. They had all shown some form of interest in the company and could be tempted to apply again when the timing was right. This marked the development of the talent network. The talent network organizes connected people according to their profile, skills, experience and location in order to send them relevant updates about jobs, culture, branding and content in the channel of their choice. From the candidates point of view this keeps them up to date with relevant information and job opportunities, and the company gets to keep their talent pipeline alive in advance of requirements. The evolution of the talent network brings a new dimension to the ERP. Employees can employ the same technology and methodology to populate the network by creating profiles for the types of people that would fit with possible future requirements and asking employees to send out invites to join the talent network to their social connections, based on data mining. Recruiters can also populate the talent network by adding a one click sign up to all content and jobs. Joining the network needs to be simple, with data coming from social profiles such as LinkedIn to keep messaging relevant. This results in every update from the ERP presenting an opportunity to connect with potential future employees and to start engaging. The more relevant content and jobs go to the right targeted audience, improving the culture and employer brand awareness. RolePoint Inc © 2013 INTERNAL REFERRALS When we talk about referrals, we are usually thinking about external candidates, but the modern ERP has a big part to play in internal mobility. The CareerXroads data for source of hire featured at the beginning of the paper shows that 55% of hires are internal transfers and promotions. Internal mobility goes hand in hand with retention and employer branding. The opportunity for advancement is one the biggest motivators in joining a new employer. The reality, though, in most organizations is that applying for jobs internally is subject to internal politics, and not without personal career risk. Sideways moves within an organization are also often dependent on noticing an opportunity on the intranet or notice board. Direct approaches by recruiters within the organization are quite rare, meaning internal moves and promotions are usually driven by the company. Internal referrals, where employees can refer jobs to colleagues and refer them to hiring managers with a recommendation opens up internal mobility and have a big impact on the quality of hires. When facilities management giant Sodexo introduced their mobile app in 2012, more than 28% of candidates who applied for jobs via the mobile app were internal applicants, resulting in 55% of their hires. 9 The Social Referral
  11. 11. The mobile app delivers different content if you are a Sodexo employee, presenting all employees the opportunity to apply for jobs or refer colleagues. As mobile adoption continues to grow, and mobility changes job search, so internal referrals have the potential to form a critical part of your ERP and make internal mobility a reality. THE BOOMERANG COMMUNITY Most people leave companies because the time is right for them to take up a new challenge, or an opportunity elsewhere is just too good to resist. Increasingly, companies are recognizing the pool of ’good’ leavers as a great source of hire. They are known to the company, their skills are tested, and they already have relationships and connections in the company. These connections can be utilized to prioritize referrals and filter searches and referrals by: - Internal candidates - Ex-employees - External candidates EXTERNAL REFERRALS It is easy to think of the ERP being the domain of employees current and past, but given the right marketing and positioning, anyone with an interest in the business should be able to join and benefit. People want to help friends and 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 same gamification and recognition features as the ERP, although you might want to consider different content and a different user experience. This can be controlled by filters at entry point on both web, mobile and mobile app entry. External referrals may want more access to company information and different rewards. All shared content should contain a simple invite to join the talent network and the referral network with one click. The big consideration here is communicating that you will not mail any one of their contacts, or scrape or store data. This will need more detailed explanations because internal employees will have a greater level of trust. Trust and transparency is the key factor in gaining access to a network. 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 former employees to join your extended ERP because this gives you access to their social networks, and a recommendation from a former employee 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
  12. 12. 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 and 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. Accountability needs to be taken out of the referral process. 7. The networks, matching and messaging technology, 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
  13. 13. About RolePoint: Changing the way you find talent RolePoint helps you find the most talented candidates within your employees’ professional networks: Employee Engagement You'll attract fresh hires ready to make a meaningful impact on your organization, recommended personally by your existing employees. RolePoint is built around the premise that 'Talent Knows Talent'. Increase Referral Rate Access The Social Web You'll uncover the hidden talent that lies within your own company's untapped networks. RolePoint is designed to enhance what great people already do - refer other great people. Reach More Candidates Talent Network Growth Each tool uses a personal touch that opens up ever expanding network opportunities. Every new user will grow your talent database exponentially. Your network will grow itself. Generate a pipeline of passive talent Higher quality candidates RolePoint Inc © 2013 Reduced time-to-hire Lower cost-per-hire 12 Improved employer brand The Social Referral
  14. 14. NEXT STEPS ABOUT BILL BOORMAN Bill has implemented successful employee referral and social recruiting programs for numerous corporate clients. Annually, he organizes and hosts 30+ #Tru Recruiting Unconferences around the world. Bill speaks on a range of recruiting, talent, technology and HR topics, having spoken in 12 countries and 4 continents. He was recently voted the 3rd most influential person in online recruitment by HR Examiner. Bill advises on product and implementation at RolePoint. Contact us to schedule a free employee referrals consultation session with Bill. ABOUT ROLEPOINT RolePoint delivers employee referral solutions to a range of Fortune 500 and Nasdaq clients, building the principles that help companies generate 70%+ referral rates into a software-as-a-service platform. Understanding that at the core of any successful referral program is the employee - RolePoint focuses on providing an engaging, transparent and frictionless experience, making it easy to identify talented connections to refer. For recruitment teams, RolePoint offers a comprehensive set of tools - enabling tracking, automation and recruitment intelligence for greater control and insight into referrals within your organization. Contact us to find out more about RolePoint with a free demo. We are the complete sourcing platform, helping you attract top industry talent through your employees.