If you’re looking to expand your team, chances are one of your current employees knows just the right person, according to SilkRoad’s Sources of Hire 2017 report. Employee referrals are the top source of hires, delivering more than 30% of hires overall and 45% of hires from internal sources.
“Employee referrals are a great outlet because they’re at the disposal of your recruiting team, readily available,” says Amber Hyatt, vice president of product marketing at SilkRoad, a talent activation solution provider. “These people are already versed in your organizational structure and culture. That’s why employee referrals have a proven track record of success and an excellent conversion rate.”
Implementing an employee referral program can be as easy as tapping into social media contacts. Trustwave, a Chicago-based data security service provider, lets employees refer their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter followers for open jobs. “Trustwave uses a Jobvite platform to send a company-wide message to all employees every Friday,” according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management. “Included in the message are four featured job openings that employees can forward to people in their social media networks who may be good job candidates.”
Right on the heels of employee referrals is the job search engine Indeed, which aggregates postings from all over web. “It’s the closest I’ve ever seen from a hire perspective,” says Hyatt. “It’s typically in the second spot but not this close.”
Indeed produced 65.27% of new hires from external sources, twice as many all other online job boards and job search engines combined, and 28% of overall new hires. CareerBuilder was the second external source with 10.65% of job board new hires, and LinkedIn was third with 8.17%.
“The volume of postings Indeed has is incredible,” says Hyatt. “Over the last couple of years they have tried to focus on becoming a one-stop shop for candidates. They’re not only seeking out active job applicants but passive job applicants, as well. That person may not be looking for a position today but could be open to learning more.”
To get your jobs listed on Indeed, you can either post your jobs directly to Indeed, or allow Indeed to aggregate your posted jobs from your career website or applicant tracking system, according to its website.
Create A Strategy
While the study demonstrates the strengths of hiring sources, managers should track data on the sources that have been most effective for their companies, suggests Hyatt. “Where have you had success not only from the volume of candidates but the sources that produced the best hire?” she asks.
Posting on job boards can be expensive, so track your results. “Many times hiring managers spend a large amount of dollars with third-party agencies or job boards but they don’t realize they’re not seeing quality return on that investment; they’re not seeing a bunch of hires,” says Hyatt. “Know your budget, and how long it takes to fill a seat.”
And understand the weaknesses of each platform. The downside to employee referrals is that it can harm diversity, as employees are more likely to recommend people who are like them in race, gender, and socioeconomic background. Hyatt recommends balancing your sourcing strategy. “You want to bring diversity of thought into an organization,” she says.
External sources are less efficient than internal sources for hiring, requiring approximately four times as many applicants to reach the interview stage and twice as many interviews, according to the study.
“We took external sources versus top internal sources head to head,” says Hyatt. “For external sources, it takes 33 applications to produce an interview, while with internal sources it takes nine applicants to produce one interview. That tells me if I need to fill a seat quickly, it’s a more effective of use of my time to convert an internal applicant.”
Finally, target your sourcing strategy instead of randomly posting and experiencing trial and error, says Hyatt. “Build out personas, which can help provide insight to your hiring and recruiting team,” says Hyatt. “Identify their characteristics, skills, and traits, then find places where they’re hanging out, such as professional associations. Knowing your audience can help you find the most effective outlet.”