Here is Why Employee Referrals are the Best Way to Hire- Linkedin



The more you research it, the more it becomes clear: almost always, the first step of any hiring process should be asking your existing employees if they know someone good for the role.

Why? Research shows getting a referral is a cheaper way to hire, a faster way to hire, generally produces a better hire and lowers the turnover rate at your company.

“(A great referral program) allows you to turn your entire workforce into recruiters,” said Meritage Talent Solutions Founder Kara Yarnot, who has made a career out of studying employee referrals. “When you only have so many recruiters and so many resources to reach out to candidates, it helps to have a great referral program to empower all of your employees to help in sourcing.”

Want to see the evidence? No problem. According to the research of Yarnot and others, here’s the case why for referrals, one benefit at a time.

  1. A referred candidate is faster to hire than a traditional candidate

Intuitively, this makes perfect sense. Rather than having to craft a job posting, receive resumes and screen through them all, all you have to do is interview a referred candidate to hire them.

Yarnot has found, along with others, that there are significant time savings by hiring via referral. According to a study by JobVite, on average it takes 29 days to hire a referred candidate, compared to 39 days to hire a candidate through a job posting or 55 days to hire a candidate through a career site.

  1. A referred candidate is cheaper to hire than a traditional candidate

For all the reasons mentioned above, a referred candidate is cheaper to hire than a traditional candidate. You don’t have to pay traditional recruiting costs to source them – an advertisement on a job board, agency fees, etc. – and, because they are faster to hire, it also means spending less on your internal labor costs.

Yarnot has found this to be true in her own research, even after factoring in a referral bonus, although the savings can vary greatly. For example, if a typical agency charges a fee of 20 percent of a hire’s first-year salary, that could be $20,000 for a single $100,000 hire. Even if you gave your employee a $2,000 referral bonus for successfully recommending a new hire, that’s an $18,000 savings, compared to hiring through an agency.

  1. A referred hire will onboard faster than a traditional hire

A somewhat surprising benefit Yarnot has found in her own research. Why is this true?

“(The referred hire) feels like they have a friend who’s not their boss to turn to and ask questions as they onboard,” Yarnot said, referring to the person who referred the new hire. “So it helps to get them integrated into the culture much more quickly.”

  1. A referred hire will stay at their job longer than a traditional hire

Obviously, the most important statistic people look at is quality-of-hire. While that’s not always easy to measure, Yarnot has found that a referred hire will stay at their job longer than a non-referred hire, a clear indication of higher quality.

Specifically, one study by JobVite found that 46 percent of referred hires stuck around for at least one year after they were hired, which was far above the 33 percent of people hired through career sites and 22 percent hired through job boards.

  1. An employee who successfully referred a candidate will stay at their company longer than a traditional employee

Here’s an additional benefit you might not anticipate: if an employee at your company refers a candidate, and that candidate is hired,research shows they’ll be more likely to stick around your company longer.

“A successful referral makes an employee feel better about the company they work for,” Yarnot said. “What I’ve found is not only do they tend stay longer after the referral, but they are more engaged as well.”




8 Ways To Excite Employees about your Employee Referral Scheme









There is an abundance of research available, which is beginning to shift recruiters and employer perceptions of what is the most effective form of hire. Gone are the days of certainty where you knew a job board was the first and often last port of call for finding talent. Now you have a range of options available for attracting talent and you have to decide which approach is going to yield the best returns. Job boards still have an important role to play in finding talent, but both CareerXRoads and Jobvite have released studies this year which show that in today’s market, the most effective form of hire by some way is not job boards, but employee referrals. CareerXRoads found that referrals accounted for 28 percent of hires compared to just 20.1 percent for job boards. Jobvite results were more extreme with referrals accounting for 40 percent of hires and jobs boards for just 15 percent.

I think we are seeing the start of a sustained trend where more and more businesses start using employee referrals and even crowdsourcing techniques as a means and even preferred means of hiring staff. This brings about new challenges, because in the old days you were just trying to attract candidates with catchy job descriptions, but now, in order to properly drive your referral scheme, you also need to catch the attention of employees  and excite and motivate them into referring candidates.

To help employers in this new socially orientated world of recruitment, we have outlined several tactics you can adopt to enhance the appeal of your referral scheme, which should encourage more employees to actually refer.

  1. Focus on cash incentives

While gifts and prizes have some appeal, the most effective incentive is hard cash. A 2010 CareerBuilder survey found that 48 percent of those surveyed said cash bonuses would further motivate them to participate in their company’s employee referral program.

  1. Cash incentives must be large enough to encourage action

The survey also found that (as you can imagine) , increasing the size of the incentive was the number one thing employees would change about their current referral schemes. They also found that having a limited incentive for participation was one of the main reasons employees gave for not participating in a scheme. So, how much incentive should you provide to encourage action? There is no rule here, it would depend on company, industry, role level and how difficult the role is to fill. For example, in Canada, KPMG offers bonuses up to $1,000, Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. up to $3,000, AMEC Americas up to $5,000 and Accenture PLC up to $6,000. It is about making an incentive that is a compelling proposition for the employees in your business and sector. So, if you are not getting enough referrals then you may need to elevate your cash incentive levels.

  1. Make sure the scheme is easy to understand and the rules are transparent

If employees are confused by the scheme, the scheme’s incentives will not be visible to the employee and will be unable to act as motivators, meaning the employees will not be encouraged to participate.

  1. Recognize successful referrers

Employees are motivated by recognition, so ensure that employees who provide successful referral’s are publicly recognized as well as paid a bonus. This could include a mention in a CEO communication,  a call or email from the CEO, or perhaps an annual dinner with the CEO for the employee who has made the most referrals.

  1. Use gamification principles to encourage competition

You could also follow gamification principles and turn it into a team competition, giving the departments who get the most referrals a prize. This sense of competition and desire to beat the other departments is a great motivator to act.

  1. Build into the performance management process

Why not include a goal for making employee referrals in the performance management process so that employees are appraised annually on their referral activity? This should motivate them to refer more.

  1. Keep employees informed of the progress of their referral

In the Careerbuilder survey, 49 percent of applicants said that ‘not being kept informed of the status of their referred candidate frustrates them and makes them less likely to refer in the future. So develop a good update system and process so employees are always well aware of the status of their referral.

  1. Show them how to build their referral network

The Careerbuilder survey also found that 51 percent of 15,000 employees cited that training on building a larger better network was the key thing organizations could do to improve their referral program. So give your employees advice on how to build more actionable networks on sites such as LinkedIn and you may see more referrals.

3 Great Ways to Boost Employee Referrals by Holly Watson

3 ways a


Employee referrals are widely known to be a high quality source of hire.

In fact, although referrals make up just 7% of job applications, they account for 40% of all successful hires, according to a survey conducted by Jobvite.

It can be dangerous to rely on referrals alone; however an employee referral scheme is an ideal tool to complement your existing recruitment advertising strategy.

Candidates who are referred via your existing employees can also deliver a variety of other benefits, including:

– A lower hiring cost than using a traditional recruitment agency
– A smoother onboarding process as the candidate will already know someone within the business
– A clearer view of cultural fit at the pre-hire stage

Taking these benefits into account, it’s natural to want to increase the chances of your employees actively recommending your business to their professional network and friends.

So, what’s the best way to boost your referrals? Follow our top tips to learn how:

1. Set up a referrals incentive program

3 ways b

Incentivising the referrals process is a great way of boosting the number of referral candidates that your company attracts.

If you don’t already have a rewards system in place, you should think about what you can offer to your employees who refer candidates to your business.

Make it clear when you’re introducing your referrals program what that reward is and the conditions in which it’s awarded.

For example, you might give your employees a £300 bonus when their referred candidate gets hired. However, the employee might not qualify for this bonus until your new hire has passed their three month probation period.

It’s worth ironing out all these details at the beginning to avoid any confusion and ensure that employees are not put off referring anyone in the future.

Make sure that you circulate the full details of the program to your employees and ensure that any new employees are made aware of it.

  1. Ensure that your employees are ambassadors of your business

3 ways c

If you’ve launched your referrals program and communicated it throughout your business but you’re not seeing any referrals come through, it could be a sign of a bigger issue.

Are your employees happy at work? Is it a positive environment? Or is there an issue with your company culture?

Making sure that your employees are happy at work should be a priority. And, let’s face it, an uninspired and unmotivated workforce will hardly be recommending your business to their contacts.

If you sense that your business has a culture issue, you need to address it and take action. If you ignore it, you are putting your employer brand at risk.

3. Circulate your vacancies as they arise

3 ways d

You might have a great referrals program in place but are you actually making your employees aware of your vacancies as they arise?

Make sure that all internal vacancies are clearly listed on your careers page and whenever a new role gets added, circulate it within your team, reminding them of your referrals program.

If your employees are happy to, ask them to share your vacancies on their social media accounts, such as LinkedIn – just think of the huge network of people you can reach if you do this.





Why are most referral programs limited to employees only?

In a recent referrals survey conducted by SmashFly, 57 percent of organizations that have formal employee referral programs allow only employees to refer potential candidates. But the 43 percent of organizations whose referral programs reach beyond employees to solicit referrals from alumni, partners, customers, etc., generate 28 percent more hires from referrals over employee-only programs.

When you start looking at the established norms of “employee referral programs,” the rule of employees-only isn’t the only one that could use a refresh. In researching the rules and regulations of current referral programs (yes, we’re dropping “employee!”), we found some recommended program rules from SHRM.

SHRM’s rules were published in 2014, with many of the commonplace concepts we’ve seen in current employee referral programs across organizations and industries. Understandable, but there is so much more opportunity.

It’s time for a fresh approach to referrals. It’s time to rewrite the “rules” of what referral programs should be. But there shouldn’t be rules — there should be customizable guidelines, features, and incentives. There shouldn’t be hoops and barriers — there should be fluid, social, and engaging communication. Here’s how we encourage organizations to consider their future referral programs:


OLD: All Company XYZ employees, except Vice President levels and above, Human Resources personnel, and managers with hiring authority over the referred candidates are eligible to refer candidates.

NEW: All Company XYZ employees, alumni, partners, vendors, contractors, customers, and fans are eligible and encouraged to refer talent into the organization. Only Company XYZ employees, who are not VP level and above, HR personnel, or the direct hiring manager are eligible for rewards.

WHY? Anyone should be able to refer talent into the organization, but the organizations should have the flexibility to change or limit reward eligibility based on the “Sponsor” (referrer) type. Restricting rewards ensures that those with decision-making power aren’t abusing it. Let’s make sure “anyone” means “anyone,” not just current employees! Think about the breadth of referrals you can receive from other strong relationships you have with partners, alumni, vendors, and fans. Most people don’t refer just because of a reward; they refer because they see opportunity for their network and want to help people progress their careers.


OLD: The referral date cannot be earlier than the date the job requisition is posted. The hiring of a referred employee must occur within 180 days (six months) of the initial referral date.

NEW: A referral can be made at any time for either a specific job position or a general referral to the organization. There is no time expiration of the referral or the eligibility for reward if you meet the requirements. Multiple people can sponsor the same referral.

Why? This widely accepted rule about time ownership on a referral should be eliminated from every program. Organizations should be trying to gain quality candidates and recommendations at all times. Why must a referral only be tied to one specific job? So if there isn’t a job currently open that matches a potential great referral, the organization doesn’t want to know about the candidate?

Plus, the concept of owning a referral for a period of time doesn’t incentivize employees to continue referring great candidates or be invested in their success, especially if their referral is hired after the 180 days and they aren’t eligible to receive their reward. In addition, there is value in multiple people referring the same candidate. It indicates a high degree of quality. These legacy rules were there to help when paperwork was hard to manage and have stayed for far too long; technology can automate processes and make the approach far more flexible to maintain a consistent referral strategy.


OLD: The referral must represent the candidate’s first contact with Company XYZ. Temporary, summer, contract, and former employees of Company XYZ are not eligible candidates for referral awards.

NEW: Same.

Why? This is still a valid guideline, as it’s not a referral if the candidate has had prior employment with the organization.


OLD: The referring employee must agree to have his/her name used for introduction.

NEW: The Sponsor must agree to have his/her name used for introduction to the referral; the referral must also accept this person as their Sponsor with visibility into their progression.

Why? The purpose behind this rule is still valid, and we’d like to push it even further. We see referrers as Sponsors of their referral. The Sponsor must agree to use his/her name for introduction and be available to guide the referral throughout the process if necessary. The referral must also accept the Sponsor who has referred him/her, allowing the Sponsor visibility into his/her progression throughout the hiring process. This promotes transparency as well as more quality referrals, as both parties must accept and invest in the journey.


OLD: To be eligible for an award, the referral must first be submitted to Human Resources and must include a Candidate Referral Form and a resume or employment application.

NEW: To be eligible for an award, the sponsor must officially submit the referral (as simple as first and last name and brief recommendation) and still be an employee, and the referral must be hired and employed for at least 90 days.

Why? Organizations need to be flexible! We’ve heard from multiple customers that they want (and need) easier, quicker ways for employees to get involved and refer. They also want to incentivize those advocates who aren’t employed by the company to feel they can refer someone without much hassle. Requiring a specific process with multiple forms is cumbersome and time-consuming for anyone, and the referred contact may not have a resume or extensive documentation ready to send. Think email referrals, links to LinkedIn profiles or other social accounts, abbreviated resumes, or expressed interest from a candidate. What’s more important than a form at this stage is understanding the “why” and asking the sponsor to provide a real recommendation, not just a name.


OLD: The first employee to refer a candidate will be the only referring employee eligible for payment.

NEW: All valid Sponsors are eligible to share in the reward for a hired referral.

Why? Referral programs should incentivize as many people as possible to refer and recommend a candidate — even if it’s the same candidate. It’s a social world, and it’s more and more likely for a referral to have multiple connections with possible Sponsors. With guidelines in place to allow the referral to approve of their Sponsor or sponsors, the candidate should be allowed to choose which Sponsor they want to continue the process with or more than one if the organization’s program rules allow. The more opinions and “vouches” you have for a referral, the better you can determine quality, but it is important to set up a baseline of how to manage and reward one or more Sponsors.


OLD: All candidates will be evaluated for employment consistent with Company XYZ policies and procedures.

NEW: All candidates will be evaluated for employment consistent with Company XYZ policies and procedures; sponsors and referrals must both agree to the Terms and Conditions of the referral program presented at the time of opt in.

Why? This is still valid, but needs to be part of a Terms and Conditions that both the Sponsor and candidate are required to review and accept when opting into the program. Built-in mechanisms to ensure compliance are vital in referral programs, especially for larger organizations. This is where a technology comes in, managing alerts and workflows for specific referrals and localized implementation of the program. Organizations need to make sure these policies and procedures are available to Sponsors and referrals on the career site or Sponsor hub, as well as proactively communicated to them upfront when the referral is made in order to get both of their opt ins.


OLD: All information regarding the hiring decision will remain strictly confidential.

NEW: As part of a referral confirming their Sponsor, referrals can confirm their willingness to disclose basic information to their sponsor regarding their candidacy within the organization.

Why? With this consent, Sponsors are given basic information about the process and their referral’s progression as a courtesy for submitting the referral. It also drives home the investment and quality factor; if a Sponsor is going to refer talent, they should want to be aware of their advancement in the interview process, and if a referral is going to confirm their Sponsor, they should feel confident to allow that Sponsor some visibility into their impression on the organization. It is a two-way street.


This is the way forward in the referral frontier: more investment, more transparency, more advocates.

Organizations need to bridge the gap between their outdated, entrenched programs and the results they’re vying for: more engaged employees and more quality referrals. Building a modern referral program requires a strategy that determines the processes and touch-points your organization has with both referral sponsors and the referral candidates and in turn implements this strategy across your recruiting team and technologies.

Don’t silo your referrals — and don’t let the status quo guide your programs. This time, breaking the rules will get you further. 

The 10 Do’s and 7 Don’ts of Employee Referrals – Daniil Karp

Recruiters regularly rate referral hires as their top source of high-quality candidates for hard-to-source roles. This anecdotal appraisal conforms well with research that shows that referral hires are more cost effective, have the highest candidate-to-hire conversion rate and retention rate of all sources of candidates. Counter intuitively, referral hiring accounts for about 9% of recruiting budgets even though, on average, 24% of hires come from employee referrals across organisations, regardless of size and industry.

Do's & Don't


One possible reason for this is that referrals are viewed as an organic channel that can’t be scaled or standardised. The thinking goes that referrals are nice when you can get them but, like warm days in the winter or no traffic at rush hour, you can’t count on them.

In case you are wondering, this thinking is wrong. Of the companies surveyed there are 2 clusters when looking at referrals as source of hire:

  1. 15-25% source of hire(most companies in the world are in this range and the average is 24% across all companies.)
  2. 30-60% source of hire(leaders in referral hiring see significant gains across recruiting and HR metrics like employee satisfaction and role fit.)

Companies that excel at referral hiring and reap the associated rewards do so in an orchestrated and predictable way. After reviewing the top studies on referral hiring and conducting our own interviews here is a list of do’s and don’ts to consider when building your referral hiring program.

Top Performing Referral Hiring Programs DO

  1. Have support from the C-suite and line-of-business managers.
  2. Have a resource dedicated to the referral program.
  3. Implement referral KPIs and monitor them on a monthly and quarterly basis.
  4. Proactively encourage employee referrals with messaging and outreach from the C-suite and team leaders.
  5. Have an internal referral process that is quick and easy for employees.
  6. Respond quickly to referred candidates and make it easy for them to apply and get to phone interviews.
  7. Provide tools that allow employees to track a referrals trajectory through the recruiting process.
  8. Have an appropriate incentive structure for referring candidates that rewards participation in the program as well as hired referrals.
  9. Regularly surface “hot jobs” to employees in relevant roles.
  10. Recognize employees who refer candidates and who’s candidates convert into hires.

Top Performers in Referral Hiring DON’T

  1. Use monetary incentives as the main motivator of participation in employee referral programs. (At a certain range, referral bonuses increase referrals at the cost of quality and hires from referrals.)
  2. Focus on increasing the quantity and not quality of employee referrals.
  3. Have unclear referral bonus process and structure or don’t remit employee referral bonuses in a timely and transparent manner.
  4. Miss the opportunity to provide education for employees on the positive impact of referrals.
  5. Underinvest in technology to support the tracking of referred candidates.
  6. Have a complicated referral program.
  7. Funnel referred candidates into the same hiring process as other applicants.

The above key takeaways split neatly into organizational decisions and process building. Prioritizing a referral program, with bonuses, executive messaging and education around the benefits of referral hiring is a commitment a company needs to make. Providing easy and trackable flows for referring candidates, enabling recruiters to quickly follow up with referrals and deliver incentives and positive reinforcement to employees can be done by implementing the right tools.

Whether you’re just building out your referral program or optimising it across a large organisation, ensure that you have the internal buy-in from your executives and external partners to help you bring your vision to life.

Recruitment Trends 2017 – What You Need To Know – MercerMatch

Trends 2017

Recruitment Trends for 2017 What You MUST Know

As an HR manager or someone in charge of hiring, you don’t want to miss the recruitment trends that are taking place now. Being aware of them and embracing them could change the way you think — and act — when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent.

1.Data is more relevant than ever

Data is no longer a recruiting “fad” but something that many HR managers have learned to embrace while using it to attract and hire top candidates. HR technology can enhance the human aspect of recruiting – rather than eliminating it – while making it easier to assess the qualities of each candidate instead of just skimming the surface.

2.More investment in employee referral programs

Studies have shown that employee referrals are the best source for hiring top quality candidates, yet little money is budgeted to referral programs within a typical organisation. There are many benefits to having current employees identify potential candidates – including time saved in the hiring process, a higher resume to interview conversion rate, and the fact that referred hires usually outperform other employees and stay with the company longer.

3.Mobile is a must

Most top job candidates are pressed for time and are job hunting on the move, particularly via mobile devices. Companies that want to attract these candidates need to ensure that their web pages and job advertisements are optimised for display on mobile screens.

4.Brand is everything

Plenty has been made of company branding, and it will take on an even greater role in recruiting in 2017. The vast majority of hiring professionals believe that an employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to attract and hire quality job candidates. Research has shown that recognisable “brands” are more apt to be taken seriously by potential hires during the recruiting process. The question for recruiters then is “How are you making sure that your brand is constantly in front of future employees?”

5.An increased use of automation tools

As an HR manager, you’re juggling many roles and finding, assessing, and interviewing the most qualified candidates takes time. Automation tools that can help sift through hundreds of candidates and ease the burden of administrative tasks will become even more popular in 2017.

6.Improved candidate experience

Employers will continue to enhance the candidate experience through social media channels, including Instagram and Snapchat. Candidates want to be spoken to by a real person, including by current employees who share their experience of working for a particular organisation.

7.Continued emphasis on increasing diversity

Diversity has become a major hiring focus at many large organisations (Facebook, Linkedin, Apple, etc.) and their influence is rubbing off on companies of all sizes. Whether it’s how you construct your job ads or how you interview potential employees, diversity is shaping every facet of the recruiting process.

8.Recruiting contingent workers

One big trend that’s gaining momentum is the recruitment of contingent workers. An increased number of companies are choosing to “rent” talent, even at the highest levels of management. Also, companies will continue to hire “boomerang” employees – those who have worked for the organisation before.

Recruiting trends are ever-evolving and embracing and understanding them can help you find and retain the highest-quality candidates in 2017.

The Best Recruiting Strategy You’ve Never Used – Julie Harrison


Okay, so maybe you have used it. But most organisations that I’ve been acquainted with haven’t. Or, at least, not beyond a basic email out to all staff advising of a new job posting.

That’s right; I’m talking about enabling internal talent mobility so that you can recruit from within. And why is it the “best” strategy? Because no other strategy will deliver an ideal candidate with:

  • No lost time:recruiting, screening, and interviewing takes time. Time that you likely don’t have to spare when a key role becomes open. And today, hiring takes longer than it ever has, with the average interview process now taking 23 days, up from 13 days just four years ago. And this time rises substantially depending on the title of the role since, as example, it takes an average of 55.5 days to fill a senior vice president role.
  • No hiring costs:beyond the costs of the recruiter’s time, there’s advertising, management time spent interviewing, and onboarding and training costs. Plus, external hires tend to be paid more than internal hires – 18% more, according to one recent study.
  • No culture risks:As any recruiter can tell you, fit can be a tricky thing to hire. It’s really difficult to actually “know” a culture, until you’ve spent time within it, and similarly, individuals during an interview process might behave differently in a regularly work day. A misfit is expensive. But unfortunately common, since the average company is losing 1 in 6 of their new hires each month for the first three months.

Plus, hiring from within is great for employee morale — employees witness that their effort and loyalty is valued.

Enabling internal talent mobility

But what does “internal talent mobility” actually mean? While it would be nice to think that posting a job for internal consumption is all there is to it, internal mobility is effective when there’s an integrated strategy that has support from the top.

What we’re talking about is succession planning across the entire organization – not just at the executive or leadership level. Trust me, I know this is no easy affair. Just getting succession planning started at all can be quite a challenge. But that’s what we’re talking about here. And when you consider what’s at stake – your retention rates – the investment really makes sense.

Adopting an integrated approach

Just as performance management is transforming from a “once and done” annual effort to an ongoing series of discussions, so too is career management. Both of these transformations involve recognizing the employee as an asset and actively engaging them in the process at hand.

Gone are the days of using a separate portal for employees to access resources related to managing their career. Now, companies are actively encouraging internal mobility within their organizations with tactics that are integrated within all areas of talent management, from learning and development, to succession planning and performance.

Getting starting with three easy steps

Like any meaningful endeavor, it can seem overwhelming to get started. There are, however, some first steps that you can take to spur on internal discussions around internal career paths.

  1. Talent Profiles

As part of your onboarding process, encourage employees to populate a talent profile with key skills, interests, and short- and long-term career goals. Next time there is an open role, managers can search the internal profiles to see if there is a fit within the existing employee population. (An example of how a hiring manager can compare talent profiles is shown in the image below using Halogen’s TalentSpace™ platform.)

Talent comparision


  1. Job description profiles

Another tactic that you can use is to allow employees access to all of the corporate job descriptions. That way, employees can review the qualifications and competencies that are considered ideal for their desired future role. Transparency is key to enabling talent mobility, and opening up job descriptions, while just a beginning step, is certainly a helpful one.

  1. Mentors and coaches

Often there are just as many employees that are eager to mentor and build their own leadership and coaching skills as employees that would like to work with a mentor. You can allow both types of employees to self-identify and then match them up accordingly. For greatest success, it is a good idea for both parties to establish some basic guidelines for their mentor-mentee relationship.


3 Talent Acquisition Trends You Need To Know

Talent acquisition has undergone a significant transformation in the last five years. With 76% of the online population now on social media, it has never been easier to find and source candidates online. However, the social web has also made recruiting more complex as candidates are becoming more segmented across the web. So, while it’s easier than ever to find talent, the challenge is in the outreach. With so many organizations jumping on the social recruiting bandwagon, it’s becoming harder to get a response from top candidates since it’s likely they are not actively looking or are being contacted by other companies too.

So what can a talent acquisition leader or recruiter like you do to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive talent landscape?

Last week Kyle Lagunas, Principal Analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, and I chatted about the topic of recruiting trends and how to focus on a data-driven recruiting strategy in a webinar hosted by Talent Management. In case you missed it, here are some of the key trends you need to know to win a top candidate’s attention and hire the best talent out there.

  1. Positive Candidate Experience & Engagement
    The rise of social and consumer technologies have changed candidate expectations when they interact with your company in the hiring process. Historically recruiting may have been impersonal and transactional, but today’s candidates expect more personalized communication, interaction and transparency from employers.

More than 80% of today’s shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. Just like a sophisticated consumer, candidates are researching your company to help them decide whether they will apply or accept a job with your organization. They want to learn more about your company’s mission and the problem you’re trying to solve for the world. They want to know the challenges they’ll get to tackle and the impact they’ll get to make in their role. They want to get to know the people who actually work at your company.

Candidates are also used to going online to have quick, simple transactions like online shopping. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to make a purchase on Amazon, and candidates expect their application process to be very much the same way. Candidates want a simple, straight-forward and quick experience when applying for a role. If you’re asking candidates to spend more than 10 minutes on an application, it’s likely too complicated and you can expect to see a big drop-off rate.

And according to the 2015 Candidate Experience Research from Talent Board, candidates want stronger communication throughout the hiring process. An automated “thank you” email simply isn’t enough anymore. If they’re not moving forward in the process, they want timely, honest feedback on why they’re not selected.

42% of job applicants who suffered a negative candidate experience say they would never apply to that company again. And 34% of candidates would even turn to social media and publicly share their negative experiences on their networks, which can be extremely damaging to your company’s employer brand and recruiting efforts.

  1. Data-Driven Talent Acquisition Technology & Strategy
    The good news is that companies today have lots of great options for technology solutions to not only help them find, engage and deliver a great candidate experience to top talent, but to also measure and generate data-driven insights to further optimize their recruiting performance.

Today’s social recruiting, talent sourcing and engagement technologies are doing the manual, time-consuming administrative work for recruiters – the tasks that have made recruiting impersonal and transactional – and they’re giving time back to recruiters so they can focus on the “human” aspect of working with candidates throughout the hiring process, building relationships and developing a strong talent pipeline for your organization.

Talent CRM solutions, for example, can help capture and store rich profile data, conversations and engagement with past and potential candidates, which can be used strategically for sourcing and recruiting initiatives.

Many talent sourcing solutions also have engagement capabilities built in, such as employee referral technologies, helping recruiters to automatically match people in your employees’ networks to open roles within your company. And many ATS systems today have open APIs and enable integration of other technology solutions, allowing you to implement the best tools that will give you a leg up on your competition.

But what ultimately differentiates great from good HR organizations is that the great ones are taking full advantage of the recruiting data enabled by these tools, technologies and systems, to regularly measure, analyze and apply actionable insights to optimize their talent acquisition strategy for both short and long-term success.

  1. Targeted Employer Branding & Talent Attraction
    Don’t try to be all things to all people. Yes, it’s tempting to not leave a potential candidate out, but in an effort to attract everyone, you’re also attracting candidates who are either not a good fit or are unqualified for the roles you’re hiring.

Successful employer branding isn’t about attracting everyone, but attracting the right people who will thrive at your company. In all your employer brand content and messaging, be honest and specific about what your brand stands for, what it’s really like working at your organization (the good and the bad), and the types of people will be successful there. This will help candidates screen themselves out if they’re not a good match, which ultimately helps you optimize your recruiting funnel to attract the right people to your company.

With today’s candidates on at least one social media network, you need a multi-channel approach to reach and engage as many target candidates as you can on the platforms where they’re spending time. Just like marketing, you need to go where your talent is.

And to win a top candidate’s attention and interest in your company, you need a dynamic content strategy to tell, share and engage them with your employer brand stories utilizing a variety of formats, such as video and blogging, that are most appealing to your target candidates.

By tying these three aspects together, you can ensure you are driving real change to your team’s recruiting capabilities, and are delivering strategic value to your business by attracting, engaging and hiring the best talent your company needs to succeed today and tomorrow.

7 Reasons You Should Hire a New Graduate – Halogen Software


What ever happened to the entry-level job? Sure, organizations post “entry-level” jobs, which fresh-faced university and college grads swarm to apply for, but many of these positions call for experience – some up to three or more years! So, invariably, the job often goes to candidates who have more experience.

Many new graduates are struggling to find jobs in their field of study, but they’re itching to put their skills and knowledge to use. It’s a Catch-22: Organizations want entry-level candidates with experience, but how are new grads supposed to get any experience if no one will hire them?

The thing is, it’s not just new grads that are missing out. Organizations are short-changing themselves when they bypass new graduates in the candidate pool. Millennials are leaving school full of energy, fresh ideas and skills, and a drive to make a positive impact in the business world – that includes your organization.

Here are seven reasons why new graduates would make a great addition to your organization:

  1. No job experience doesn’t mean no experience at all

Although a new grad may not have years of on-the-job experience, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t gained valuable experience elsewhere. Volunteer activities, roles in student organizations or clubs, internships and part-time employment can all help develop important skills.

For instance, a roll as a volunteer soccer coach can teach important leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Or a part-time retail job during the summer can teach you attention to detail and time management skills. Don’t mistake non-traditional experience for no experience at all.

  1. A generation of continuous learners

It is rare that you will ever hire someone with the exact skill-set listed in a job description that is ready to be a top performer with no training or supervision. In fact, I’d argue that will never happen. Since you’re going to have to train someone, it makes sense to train a new graduate who is accustomed to learning and makes learning a priority in their day-to-day activities. As continuous learners, not only will they adjust quickly to the new role, but they will continue to seek to develop and grow their skills. They’re enthusiastic and not afraid to take on new challenges and obstacles.

Engaging new graduates through continuous learning opportunities can establish a competitive differentiator for your organization in today’s competitive market.

  1. New, innovative ideas and fresh perspectives

New grads are keen to understand the way things are done and are not afraid to ask “why?” This can prove useful for your organization when analyzing old methods and developing efficiencies wherever possible.

New to the corporate world, new graduates haven’t become accustomed or cemented to a particular way of doing things from previous roles. As such, they can bring an innovative, fresh new perspective to your organization.

  1. New grads are great collaborators

Very few projects nowadays can be accomplished without teamwork, especially in the increasingly globalized business landscape. Collaborating across geography and across business functions is becoming essential to how an organization operates.

It is not simply enough to put a group of intelligent and creative people in a group and hope for brilliance. You need team members who know how to collaborate, leverage each other’s strengths and navigate the changing landscape of collaboration and communication tools. This level of collaboration comes naturally to new graduates who have been immersed in collaborative learning throughout their education. They can also help foster a culture of collaboration throughout your organization.

  1. New graduates are comfortable with new technologies

One of the biggest advantages of hiring new graduates is their ability to navigate new technology and the ever-evolving digital social landscape. New graduates grew up immersed in technology – I vaguely remember dial-up, but I have no recollection of the pre-internet world. And while older generations may shake their heads at young adults with their face to a screen and their thumbs running at lightning speed, this tech immersion comes with an advantage – digital literacy.

The dawn of the digital age has seen technology continually transforming the way we do business and embracing the mobile workplace is increasingly important in the global marketplace. Tech-savvy new grads will be able to adapt quickly and can bring fresh ideas, tech skills and new ways to collaborate digitally and do business – which can help accelerate the success of your organization, making their talent a competitive differentiator for your business.

  1. Think about the long-term

For businesses, it is important to not only think about the positions that need to be filled now, but also think strategically for your needs over time. What long term capabilities can your new hire bring to your organization? What knowledge or skill gaps will exist when current employees leave?

By identifying high potential new graduates and investing in their development, you will be able to build a strong talent pipeline that can adapt to address the challenges your organization may face as you grow. You will have bench strength to tackle problems before they arise.

  1. New graduates have lower salary expectations

If none of the reasons above have convinced you, let me say this: Hiring new grads makes good dollar sense! Undoubtedly, it is a goal of any business to save on costs and be profitable. Well, you have to pay for experience – and since it is a lack of experience that sparked this whole discussion in the first place, new grads are a cheaper alternative to more seasoned employees, saving your organization on salary costs.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can pay new graduates extremely low salaries (i.e. salaries that fall drastically below market rate). It does however provide the opportunity for companies to hire a talented employee at an entry-level rate and to invest in developing that employee to become a top performing star within your organisation.

The 10 Most Important Factors That Help Me Determine Candidate Fit – Linkedin

Right Candidate


You may have heard the old saying “hire for fit, teach skills.” And, it’s genuinely true. Hiring for fit, or more accurately, attitude, has become something I’ve espoused closely over the years. Now that I am running my own company, it’s more important than ever not to get the greatest coder, but to find the person willing to bring a smile to a difficult job every day, look at an issue a totally different way, and take feedback regularly.

And, from my experience, there are specific qualities I can screen for to determine if the candidate has the right attitude and will be a fit. Here are the ten questions that help me decide:

  1. Are they enthusiastic?

How you can tell: In our process, I always give the employee the chance to reach back out to me after the phone interview. While this may not work for all companies, it works well here, because I only want people who WANT to be here and I tell them so. I won’t schedule a follow up to the phone interview until they contact me.

  1. Can they adapt to our agency model (corporate environment, startup culture, insert your thing here).

How you can tell: We use a tool called Vitru to help identify if someone has adaptability. I know other companies use Gallup’s Strengthsfinder. However, you can also see how they adapt if you mess something up, which I inevitably do.

While I don’t recommend playing mind games with a likely nervous candidate, do take note of how they react to their potential future workspace and colleagues. If someone brings them the wrong coffee, what is their reaction? If you schedule them for the wrong time, how do they react? If you are interrupted during the interview, what do they do or say? Any change to the norm is a great opportunity to see if a potential candidate is adaptable.

  1. Would they be a team player?

How you can tell: Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not NOT team players, so first, remove your pre-conceived notions. Once you’ve done that, take them around and introduce them to the team.

How do they act, do they remember names or bring up topics that might be interesting to the new team member? While making small talk is not a prerequisite for any job, it’s useful to observe if they really SEE the other team members or are simply focused on you, the interviewer. I usually “name-drop” some of my people during the phone interview to see if they bring it back up later. Again, I’m not of the school that everyone needs to be a team player ALL the time, but if you do need to know, this is how you can find out.

  1. Do they ask meaningful questions?

How you can tell: I am a master BS artist. Many, MANY times, I have found myself not at all listening to someone and having to pull out some ridiculous question or response right out of you know where. So, it’s pretty hard to pretend like you are paying attention to me if you are not. If a candidate just parrots your own words back to you, but slightly out of order, it’s a guarantee they are paying very little attention.

Another indicator is a lack of specificity. If your candidate talks in broad terms about success, clients, lessons (all the usual job interview fodder), pull back and ask for really specific or one-off proof points or cases. A meaningful question to me is one where I (the interviewer) need to think for a minute before I can answer. That means not only are they paying attention, but are thinking through more sophisticated concepts than the one I put on the table.

  1. Are they willing to acknowledge past mistakes and explain how they learned from them?

How you can tell: Every job interview has that fun question about when you screwed up. Articles have been written about how to overcome it and every recruiter you know has heard the “I think my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist,” answer more times than she cares to admit.

But to me, this is a huge indicator of whether or not they will be a fit. Do they blame their boss, their team, their MOM? Is it the traffic’s fault, the computer’s fault, the inability to read directions? If they cannot give you a specific example of a time they failed and what they did to get back on that proverbial horse, they are either lying or unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes and that will KILL whatever team you put them on.

  1. Are they willing to learn new things or seem excited by the opportunity to do so?

How you can tell: Does their resume show them leapfrogging or at least moving up at a company? Do you see examples of interesting work they’ve done that is clearly outside the scope of their former or current job title?

I can usually tell if someone is interested in learning more than the usual stuff by whether they ask to shadow more than one person in their onboarding week. (If you don’t implement mentorship or an onboarding buddy, I would highly encourage the process. It teaches as much to the mentors as it does the new employees and has been found to increase retention by 69% for mentors and 72% for mentees).

Finally, ask about a project that wasn’t successful or a giant failure, just one they absolutely loved and their role in it. This alone can give you tremendous insight into their passion for learning.

  1. How resilient is this person?

How you can tell: This is pretty hard to tell from a few interviews, but by keeping an eye on their work history, and asking pointed questions about a time they’ve failed, their body language will give you some clues.

Keep in mind, if you are truly looking for unique talent, their resilience NOW is the only thing that matters, so ask how they would handle a difficult situation today versus one that happened five years ago.

  1. Can they show their skills?

How you can tell: Our mini-assignment in between the phone and in-person interview is the best indicator of this. While skills are NOT the most important piece of the puzzle, the ability to research, follow directions, adhere to deadlines and give your best effort are all unique and useful things here at Red Branch Media. If you have the ability to add an assignment into your process, do so!

  1. Do they seem ambitious to ensure work is completed as well as possible?

How you can tell: If they ask about deadlines, work timelines or explain how long projects typically take them, you can get a good idea of whether or not they are used to working on a deadline. Again, some of these questions are more relevant to a smaller team, but even larger corporations need to hit milestones and adhere to deadlines, so knowing that someone has a relevant idea of how to do that is crucial.

  1. What is their passion?

How you can tell: By asking, “If you could do anything in the world (professionally) what would it be?” Obviously, we’d all rather eat spicy Cheetos and watch Who’s The Boss reruns, but what do they want to do professionally? Write? Create? Build? Work with people?

Once you have an inside view into their passion, you can mentally gauge where they might be the happiest inside your company, or at least which team to pair them with. The brain of a person feeling positive is 31% more productive than their negative counterparts, so passion and happiness is important.

Hiring really great people goes beyond skills and resumes. It requires understanding the person’s motivations and desires and then connecting those within the company. Only then will you find great hires that are ready and willing to give their best to your work!