Enlisting Employees as Recruiters Can Make Fishing for a Hire Really Easy, or Messy

Results of the recruiting process

Setting aside the fact that it’s a little creepy to have Jobvite crawling around in your social media drawers, it is actually a great tool. Applications like Jobvite or Appirio turn every employee in your company—who is willing to participate—into a recruiter. When you need to recruit a hard-to-find employee like a Java developer, for example, you offer employees a bonus to use their own social networks to recruit prospects for you. They can add these applications to their social networking sites and the app searches friend, and LinkedIn or Twitter profiles, for people who match what you’re looking for. The app notifies the employee and the employee sends the friend a referral.

Instead of having one or two fishermen, you send everybody out with nets. It’s totally win-win…if you do it right.

Here’s the rub. If you let all your employees loose just with a job title or even a short description, you wind up with a deluge of not necessarily qualified candidates. Instead of one awesome Java developer with certain kinds of experience, you have boatload of PHP and Perl developers you have to throw back. That’s a headache. Worse, this deluge of candidates each has a friend on the inside of your company, so if the candidate doesn’t get the job—or even merit an interview–you may now have not only an unhappy candidate but also an unhappy employee.  And that’s the exact opposite of what your company was going for.

When it’s done right, using your employees as recruiters is brilliant:

  • It’s inexpensive
  • It speeds up the hiring process
  • It strengthens the bond with existing employees when their buddies get hired, too

But in order to do it right, you need to make sure you’re communicating clearly with employees what you’re looking for.  Employees need a clear and specific job description that includes not only professional qualifications but what you need as far as a culture fit. They also need to know you’re looking at a lot of candidates and their best friend may not get the job….you’re just opening the opportunity up for them to try.

So go ahead and send out your fleet of fishermen to land the big fish…just make sure they’re using the right bait.

We can help you train them. We work with companies on a project basis or on retainer, providing a custom level of HR help designed for your business. Contact me at Caroline@valentinehr.com or call (512) 420-8267.





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