As you know, employee referrals are one of the least expensive, most efficient ways to recruit job applicants. Better than that, referrals who are hired are more likely to be above-average performers and stay on board longer because they already have a friend or acquaintance on your staff.
Here’s a few tips to make referrals from your employees even more effective:
- Shrink the circle of people you ask about. For example, rather than asking: Do you know anyone who might want to work with us? Ask: Is there anyone in your [church, neighborhood, school, last job] you think would be a good fit working here with us?
- Make sure your people know that if a referral or recommendation doesn’t work out, it is not their fault and will never be held against them.
- Teach them how to talk to the people they might refer; what’s good and not so good about the organization and the job and who to get in touch with to apply.
- Remind them no one ever felt bad about getting a job offer; the people whose names they share will likely be flattered even if they’re not interested.
What’s in it for them job ads
The competition for employees is frenzied, so how can you make your recruitment ads stand out from the crowd and attract the types of people you want? Here are some suggestions:
- Make sure your headline grabs attention. (“Looking for Our Next Superstar,” “Life’s Too Short Not to Work Somewhere Awesome,” “Come Grow with Us”)
- Tell them what’s in it for them. What can you tout? (Family-friendly, flexible hours? Great, collaborative coworkers? Growth opportunities? Training and/or education?)
- Describe the ideal applicant in the second person rather than listing what you need. (“You are highly responsible and a proven problem solver who thrives on a fast-paced environment” instead of “We need a responsible, problem-solver for our fast-paced customer service center.)
- Make sure your ads look good on a mobile phone as well as via a web browser.
- If possible, include links not only to your website, but to anything that will give readers an idea of your culture (LinkedIn profiles, community awards, press releases, etc.).
Quick hit recruiting tips
Hire the silver medalist — When was the last time you actually went back and looked at the applicants who almost got the last job or the one before that? These are prescreened, well-qualified people and you already have their contact info!
Partner with the competition — Two competing organizations, only two blocks apart, had a need for the same type of person, but each of them had only a part-time opening. They got together and hired a better person than either of them could have hired on their own because they were able to give the new hire 45 hours of work between them. (This could work with any neighboring employer as well, of course.)
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Employee of the Month plaques — Whether you’re shopping for office supplies or making a bank deposit, look for the plaques on the wall. They tell you exactly who the organization’s best performers are.
Business cards for everyone — Give your frontline employees their own business cards. For a very small investment you:
- Make them feel good about themselves and the company;
- Can turn every employee into a recruiter. Ask them to give their card to anyone they meet who they think would make a good addition to your team. Have them tell the prospect to contact you and mention the employee’s name and it will guarantee them an interview.
P.S. And make sure you reward the referring employee if do hire that person.