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Recruiting technologies are continuously improving the way we work, but technology isn’t the only thing that can assist when you’re trying to grow your workforce fast. Here are some inexpensive (but proven) methods to help you hire top talent in 2018:

Double Down on Employee Referrals

Employee referrals are second to none when it comes to finding quality people for your company. According to SHRM, employee referrals are a top source of hires, delivering more than 30 percent of all hires in 2016. Moreover, 46 percent of referred hires stay with the company for a full year, vs. 33 percent of hires made through career sites and 22 percent of hires made through job boards.

So, how can you get more of your talent through the proven, low-cost method of employee referrals? Make it easier for employees to refer candidates, of course! Here are some ways to do just that:

  1. Try a little flattery: Send out an email asking your employees if they know of anyone who would be a good fit for the company. Let your employees know they are superstars — and that’s why you’re asking for their help.
  2. Make sure they understand the process: Many employees don’t refer candidates because they’re not sure what happens when they do. While many companies do follow documented referral processes, others accept referrals in a less formal way. Make sure all of your employees understand exactly how the referral process works, including timelines, what happens when a referral is rejected, and what happens when a referral is accepted.
  3. Give them some face time: Designate one day of the month or week “Referral Day.” On Referral Day, ask employees to come into your office for a cup of coffee and a chat about possible referrals. Try keeping a box of donuts or other sweets on your desk to entice more visitors and reward those who make referrals.
  4. Encourage honesty: You want employee ambassadors, not dishonest hucksters. Explain to your employees they should be honest with their referrals about both the company’s great qualities and its not-so-great ones. Their honesty will set appropriate expectations with prospects, ensuring that referred candidates are those who really do fit with the company.
  5. Be specific: Referral programs are far more likely to succeed if you are specific about where employees can and should look for referrals. Encourage employees to think about their hometown communities, their online social circles, their kids’ schools, and their former workplaces when looking for possible referrals.

Reconsider Your Runner-Ups

Your business, like most, probably spent the last few years with an abundance of workers from which to choose. As the market tightens, however, 47 percent of companies report they are struggling to find qualified talent for their open positions. Why not return to that former abundance of workers and start sourcing from the talent already in your ATS from previous jobs?

A candidate who wasn’t quite right for a past role may be perfect for a different role that has just opened up, or they may have gained more skills and experience since the last time. Whatever the case, dig up your silver medalists from previous roles and reach out. Connect with them on LinkedIn to see what they’re doing now. They’ll probably be happy to hear from you.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Oleeo blog.

Jeanette Maister is managing director of the Americas for Oleeo.



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