And this is why culture matters…
In Gerry Crispin and Chris Hoyt’s final Source of Hire lab report, the big headline is that culture matters. They don’t say it, but what they say leaves no doubt. And it’s really no big surprise, really, but CareerXRoads reports that almost 30% of their Colloquium members hire between 26-50% of their candidates from employee referrals.
It’s not hard, folks. As the talent supply continues to tighten up, your own employees are the go-to (and most cost effective source for candidates. And if your employees are looking for a job somewhere else (anywhere but here!), what is the likelihood they’ll refer the best of their connections to your company? You know the answer.
CareerXRoads has been a lone voice in the wilderness touting the value (and high incidence) of employee referrals. This report lays it out clearly, although I’m not sure the word culture is ever mentioned: employees who feel strongly positive about the culture of their organization will invite their friends, family and acquaintances to join them. It’s about the work, the boss, the innovation and collaboration, the communication, the appreciation, the respect. It’s about the culture.
No way around it: culture matters.
There is a robust conversation in the talent arena about “candidate experience” led largely by Gerry Crispin and Elaine Orler, founders of the Talent Board and the Candidate Experience Awards (#CandE). There are lots of opinions about whether ensuring that candidates for hire have a high quality experience is meaningful. Some think the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. But I think most believe treating candidates like consumers is smart business. Two new vendor publications discuss aspects of candidate experience:
- Creating a 21st Century Application Process from RolePoint, and
- Beyond Employees: Employee Referral Programs Redefined from Smashfly
Both reports were published within the last month and contain analysis of current data. The Rolepoint whitepaper was written by global recruiting legend Bill Boorman. It highlights Intuit’s approach to embracing a social approach to the apply process, with a particular focus on making the application process streamlined and device agnostic “with equal attention paid to user experience and interface on both desktop and mobile.” Bill is a legend for a reason and his approach to this topic in the whitepaper is compelling. The Smashfly presentation provides insight into the employee/candidate referral landscape with some interesting data:
77% of organizations currently have a formal referral program
32% of new hires come from referrals on average, and rate highest in quality among sources of hire
57% of organizations limit their referral program to employees only
43% extend their program beyond employees to include alumni, contractors, customers, vendors and/or partners
Analysis shows those that reach beyond employees get 28% more hires from referrals and 8% better quality candidates
This survey data is interesting, and I key in on the 4th bullet. Extending referrals into other stakeholder groups makes a great deal of sense – and correlates to higher quality candidates. Take a look below: If you’re in the 23% of employers without a candidate referral program, this might be a wake up and smell the coffee moment. If you’re in the 57% of organizations limiting referrals to employees only, this might be a pedal to the metal moment. Either way, whether you’re recruiting programmers, developers, customer service agents, nurses, marketers, HR professionals or executives, approaching your trusted partners – including employees – for referrals makes good, logical sense. And treating potential candidates like consumers, that is, making it as easy for them to press the “apply” button as it is to press the “buy” button seems like a tenant from Econ 101. Check out these reports from Rolepoint and Smashfly.