Your Best Recruiting Sources Are the People That You Know

by Sharlyn Lauby on April 1, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at SilkRoad, a leading provider of global cloud-based talent management solutions. SilkRoad is currently hosting an educational road show called “Turn On Talent”, featuring HR experts sharing talent management best practices. Visit here to find an event near you.)

We keep talking about how finding qualified talent is getting tougher. And the skills gap is making recruiting challenging. The question becomes, “What are we going to do about it?” While we do have to consider training as a way to develop the talent we need, companies also need to look at their existing hiring sources and develop a strategy for levering them effectively.

Our friends at SilkRoad have produced an intriguing report “Recruitment Marketing Effectiveness: Meaningful Metrics Straight from the Source” to help companies identify effective sources of hire so they can stay on top of their recruiting game.

SilkRoad gave me a sneak peek into the findings and one thing that really stood out were the results showing the difference between internal and external hiring sources. Internal and external sources were pretty evenly split when it comes to interviews but clearly internal sources produce more hires.

recruiting, internal, external, SilkRoad, employee, employee referral program, graphIn addition, the survey results show that employee referrals are the top source of interviews (57%) and hires (61%). I must admit, I’ve always known that employee referral programs produced the best cost-per-hire but, I have been wondering if that fact has been able to stand the test of time. The report offers some insights as to why employee referrals remain popular and cost-effective:

  1. Employees are made aware of job openings earlier and can tell their friends, possibly before other posting sources are utilized.
  2. Referrals are seen to have a better culture fit because current employees understand the corporate culture. They are able to share with candidates the unspoken rules within the organization.
  3. Personal recommendations have value in hiring decisions. When a current employee, who is respected within the company, offers a recommendation…it carries some weight with human resources and hiring managers.

Another source that I consider to be internal are rehired employees, also known as boomerangs. When we talk about culture fit, what better source than someone who has worked previously for the company?! In the SilkRoad report, they remind us the cost to rehire an employee can be 30-60% less than hiring a new employee.

SilkRoad Logo, recruiting, internal, external, SilkRoad, employee, referral, employee referral program

Let me add another benefit to hiring boomerangs. Sometimes employees need to leave your company to get a piece of experience they would never get within your organization. We have a tendency to look at employee departures as terrible things when they really might be the best thing that ever happened for the employee. The individual gets new skills and experience that will make them even more valuable to the organization.

It’s important to note that, with current and former employees being a valuable hiring source, companies need to make sure the organization is worth recommending. This is where employment branding, company career sites, social media, benefit programs and good management come into play. No former employee is going to return to a poorly run company. No current employee is going to recommend their friend to a company with terrible pay and benefits. In fact, quite the opposite will happen. Your employees are using their network to leave.

SilkRoad’s “Recruitment Marketing Effectiveness” report provides a lot more great information. And I haven’t even scratched the surface. I don’t want to give all of the information away, so go download your own copy here. Also be sure to check out the SilkRoad blog for more insights.

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