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Updated: 21 min 38 sec ago

5 Ways to Revolutionize Your Referral Program

Employee referral programs typically outproduce any other source of hire, when looking at recruiting cycle times, costs, and new hire quality. No surprise, right? What should be surprising is that companies typically invest the smallest amount of resources into referral programs when compared to other recruiting programs, tools, technology, and databases.

Listen to the average consultant or expert and they’ll tell you ways to improve your referral results include increasing the bonus, giveaway more prizes (like a car or trip), communicate better and encourage more referrals. If you want mediocre results, take their advice.

After working with several organizations on increasing their referral capabilities, there are approximately 100 characteristics of successful referral programs I’ve documented. Here is a list of the top 5 ways to revolutionize your referral program and experience dramatic improvements, based on this work.

  • Use a leading employee referral technology to market your program, jobs and referrals. And no, I don’t mean the crappy landing page your applicant tracking system offers. I’ve used and would recommend checking out EmployeeReferrals.com. Your employees are busy, you shouldn’t set the expectation that they need to check your open jobs or set job alerts to see what’s available and who they might know. With EmployeeReferrals.com, your employees can be marketed jobs that match people from their professional or personal networks, automatically. Their solution is cost effective, and after implementation we experiences a 200%+ increase in referral activity and 60% increase in referrals hired, within 3 months.
  • Reward referrals that come from people outside of your company. A solution like EmployeeReferrals.com allows you to reward, recognize, and compensate individuals who don’t work for your company. Let’s say one of your employees’ refers someone from their professional network (contact A) for a job and for whatever reason they aren’t open or interested – and they refer someone from their network (contact B) who gets hired. Why wouldn’t you split the reward between the original employee that referred Contact A, and Contact A as well?
  • Create a referral process, procedures and set SLA’s. Nothing will frustrate your employees more than having their referrals lost in the black hole of HR. Examples may include setting expectations to check their Reqs and contact referrals everyday, or within 24 hours. Or defining communication parameters up front so your employees know what happens and what to expect once they submit a referral. Also include a centralized mailbox or phone number for questions – make it as easy and seamless for your employees.
  • Build a campaign around your program – beyond just having a program. Tie 2-3 campaigns or themes per year around your referral program, have contests and provide consistent messaging, updates and reminders to your employees through team meetings, leaders, the intranet, paycheck stubs, department and all company meetings. Use these venues to recognize top referrers and success stories, tied to business results. If you want to create a conversation piece, send an oversized postcard to your employees’ home.
  • Host a referral event. There are a variety of ways to leverage your employees’ networks, and hosting an invitation only event can produce very strong results. Having recruiters and hiring managers available and accessible for on the spot conversations and interviews is the obvious benefit. Organize an event where potential candidates can watch videos, see your CEO speak about the company and visit departments are a few ways to create additional interest. If your company operates in multiple geographies, consider hosting a virtual event – there are multiple technology providers that manage the even for you. Brazen Careerist is one that I’ve had experience with, and would recommend taking a look at.


Referral programs have, and will continue to be a leading source of hire for organizations. What you decide to do with your program will determine how engaged your employees are to refer, and what level of success your company will experience, as a result.

5 Ways to Revolutionize Your Referral Program

5 Ways to Revolutionize Your Referral Program

New Video Interviewing Capabilities Could Translate into Better Hiring

When I last checked in on video interviewing nearly a year ago, the concept was still an emerging best practice in recruiting. That’s changed quite a bit as more talent acquisition professionals have adopted the technology and found ways to integrate it into their hiring. Providers in the video interviewing space haven’t been sitting still either. The industry frontrunners continue to introduce refinements and new functionality for their solutions.

One of the market leaders, Montage, recently won HRO Today’s 2014 Tektonic Award for Talent Management for its innovative development in question configurability. Montage is known for its focus on the candidate experience, so I delved deeper to learn more about what this advance could mean for talent acquisition.

Designing the Right Question Format
Montage’s question configurability raises the bar in on-demand video interviewing, an application in which candidates record their answers to questions presented by the company. Recruiters and hiring managers often use it for screening as it allows them to collect, view and compare many candidates’ responses at their convenience. With Montage’s new functionality, recruiters gain flexibility in how they deliver questions to candidates, and how they’d like candidates to respond. They can design the format of every question to most effectively capture the information they need.

Here’s a for-instance: Rather than ask candidates to read a complicated question, recruiters could use video to provide a broader explanation. Or, they may use video to present a situation they’d like a candidate to react to, such as a customer service problem. Recruiters can also specify that candidates respond by video, text or audio if they’re looking for presentation skills, writing abilities or a perhaps a verbal response for phone-based jobs.

There’s additional flexibility at the question level too:

  • Recording options: Recruiters can specify unlimited re-recording for more thoughtful candidate responses, or no re-recording to uncover quick thinking skills.
  • Think times: Recruiters can set candidates’ thinking time to fit the question, from very little requiring an instant response after seeing the question to unlimited letting the candidate ponder the question for as long as they’d like.


Tailoring the Candidate Experience
So now hiring teams can tailor the candidate experience to match the position and their organization’s hiring philosophy. For most jobs, the right kind of candidate experience is probably to allow candidates to see the questions ahead of time and mull them over a bit before recording. Offering the chance to re-record also gives job candidates every opportunity to shine. On the other hand, there are scenarios where it is ideal to challenge the candidate to respond instantly to see how they might handle a tough question. It turns up the pressure, but recruiters can pick and choose the questions where no re-recording makes the most sense. And with this functionality it’s not a once-and-done type of configuration but the purposeful choice for each question.

Potential Versatility
Montage’s new functionality has the potential to increase versatility in on-demand video interviewing. Hiring teams can use it high in the funnel for general screening and pre-qualification, and then again for more in-depth screening stages once the funnel is narrowed. And it offers options for many different hiring scenarios. Recruiters can configure some or all of the questions, or go with the default texted questions with unlimited video re-record. Either way, on-demand video interviews can now be built to suit the job and the hiring environment. It’s another example of how hiring teams can use to improve their outcomes and offer the best possible experience to their candidates.


New Video Interviewing Capabilities Could Translate into Better Hiring

New Video Interviewing Capabilities Could Translate into Better Hiring