The notion of employee referrals in finding good candidates for a given role is not a new one. Intuitively, it makes sense. After all, who better to suggest someone who might be a good fit for a given role than someone who understands both the candidate, the prospective employer and the job role?
There is also the factor of self-interest. If an employee has a friend who is lazy, dishonest or a poor fit for some other reason, they will be unlikely to recommend them, however desperate they might be for a job. After all, they will be remembered as the person who recommended this candidate – and will want that recollection to be in a positive light.
For such a valuable tool, it is strange, then, that referral systems are often so ad-hoc and unstructured. Most companies have some means whereby employees can submit referrals – but it is less common for the referral process and the data that it generates to be effectively managed and optimised. All that could, however, be set to change.
The right software
On the one hand, there is an organisation in which roles periodically need to be filled. These have various parameters associated with them in terms of employment type, skill sets, salary band and various other factors. On the other, we have employees referring individuals with varying skills, experience, needs, aspirations and salary expectations. If this was an operations or marketing scenario, there would be a dozen pieces of software to optimise and match these inputs and outputs already. And at last, the latest referral program software suggests that the recruitment field is catching up.
Up and running in no time
We have already suggested that one benefit of referrals is that they generate a better calibre of candidate. Essentially, the referrer has already performed the first level of screening and it is unlikely that any completely inappropriate CVs will land on your desk. This is, in itself, a time saver, but it doesn’t stop there.
Referrals will not come in completely “cold.” The employee will have given them an idea of what to expect, along with plenty of background relating to the company. This will be of the real life “warts and all” variety, and certainly beats the sort of research another candidate might be able to conduct by reading the corporate website.
As such, you will find that onboarding time is significantly reduced. One of the biggest costs to a business when it comes to staff turnover is time spent recruiting and training a new employee. Anything that can reduce that is money straight back on the bottom line.
Of course, the ideal is for staff turnover to reduce so that you do not have to waste time recruiting in the first place. This is yet another area in which referrals have a great track record. Individuals who are genuinely a good fit for the company and the role are less likely to go elsewhere, voluntarily or otherwise. And that can only be a good thing for staff morale and the business as a whole.