Social Media Employee Referrals Are a Big Deal to Find Great Talent!
Since the beginning of time, word of mouth is still the number one way to find new talent. That still holds true today; even with the fantastic amount of new technology dedicated to sourcing and hiring future talent for your organization. Since employee referral programs (ERP) can be very productive in finding great talent, it may be time to examine a recruiting opportunity not being considered. This is working with your current employees and having them help “spread the word” to their social media accounts about the excellent jobs open at your company.
According to SMARP, the average employee has 400 LinkedIn and Facebook contacts. Many also have over 250 followers on Instagram. What if you could tap into these networks with some particular job offerings? With more jobs open today than workers and the lowest unemployment rate we have seen in years, you have to start thinking about additional recruiting strategies to fill positions, or your company’s growth will stagnate. Part of the answer may be your current employees' social platforms.
To engage employees to help you in your recruiting strategy, this is not easy and is the exact reason so many employers run the other way. The primary reason starts with the words "social media." It scares employers to think that their employees will post the wrong message and potentially create discrimination liability for the company. Employers also believe it may cross a line and impede on their employees' personal space. The funny thing is before social media, and employers have been asking their employees to help recruit. The traditional ERP alerts employees of bonus-eligible positions if they refer the hired candidate. Here is an excellent example of this from RIVCO. If you don’t already do this at a minimum, this is a great place to start.
A social referral program is much trickier. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Make sure you have a social media policy that is simple to understand. You need this regardless of whether you ask employees to share job openings on their social networks or not.
- You must create the content you want your employees to share. Effective social media strategy requires excellent content. This is not easy, but there are many agencies out there (Shaker) that can assist. You can also add this content to Slack, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
- Have all content in your employee portal so your employees can “share” the content with one click. This is very important to make super simple. Use your internal employee email to distribute hot jobs with share buttons.
- Give your employees a reason to share. What if you gave them a $5.00 Starbucks giftcard to share a post on LinkedIn or Facebook? If only ten employees shared your post, and they all have 500 LinkedIn contacts, you just connected to 5,000 people for $50.00. The real power is the fact that your current employees are most likely connected to people like themselves.
- You will NEVER get 100% participation, which is just fine. The program should be so easy to use and those who want to help spread the word will.
This is a straightforward way to start thinking about what you can do with a social media ERP. There are many ERP companies out there with fantastic technology to help you (Zao, Simpplr, Boon, ZALP, etc.). I would suggest starting with a couple of jobs and make them easily shareable. It will not cost a ton, and you may be very surprised with the results.