It’s pretty widely accepted that referral hires are the best hires that most companies make. Pretty easy math equation on why :
Good Employee + wanting to stay a good employee + employee’s reputation = usually good people they recommend to HR/Recruiting to go after and hire
I’m like Einstein when it comes to HR math!
But, there is one piece to the equation that most all companies struggle with. We don’t get enough of these referrals!
So, we look at our referral process. Then we go out and look at our collateral material associated with our referral program. Then we look at using technology to automate our referral program. Then we look at the numbers again – and again – we still don’t have enough of these hires…
There is still one thing we keep forgetting to do – it’s simple – which is probably why we “assume” we don’t need to do it. We/You need to give your employees permission to do share this with their personal and professional networks – each and every time you want a referral for a certain position.
You know what we do really well in HR? Roll-outs! We do! We can roll-out the shit of just about any program you can think of. We love roll-outs. We live for roll-outs! You know what we do really bad in HR? Continuing programs after we roll them out! The truth sucks because it’s true.
How can you get more referrals?
1. Have a program (don’t laugh, too many still don’t)
2. When you want a referral – ask for it – each and every time. (We tend to roll out the referral program and assume each time we post a position our employees will just naturally share it with potential referrals – they don’t)
3. When asking for a referral specifically “Give Permission” to your employees to share this with their Facebook friends, their LinkedIn Professional network and their Tweeps. (Specifically)
BEST PRACTICE ALERT: Create email groups by department, when you get an opening for that department send an email to the group with your standard referral “permission” language – plus one other item – an easy cut and paste hyperlink that they can post or send to their networks with specific instructions on where to paste/send it to.
Giving someone “permission” to do something strikes a trigger in their mind to actually do it – it has something to do with psychology or something, I don’t know I’m an HR pro, but suffice to say it works! Think about it, like you were a 5 year old. Your parents tell you, you can’t ride your Green Machine in the street. Then, one day, Mom is out getting her nails done and your Dad sees you doing circles in the driveway on that Green Machine and he goes “Hey, why don’t you take that into the street?!” What do you do? You immediately take that bad boy for a ride in the street! Dad “gave you permission” and you ran with it!
Referrals might be a “little” different but I’ve actually had conversation with employees who’ve said “Oh! It’s OK if I send this to my friends and family?” Like our posting was sort of corporate secret or something! We shouldn’t assume. You’ll be surprised.
Now – go give your employees permission to get you some referrals!