Archive for June, 2013

Using an Employee Referral Program Yet?

June 24th, 2013

Employee Referral Programs Deliver

Are you using an employee referral program yet?  Listen, these days, hiring takes a team effort. With labor markets beginning to tighten again, smart employers are turning to well-run employee referral programs to attract talent. Employee referral programs can be a great way to fill open positions and identify talent that would otherwise go undiscovered by your HR department. And, employee referral programs are great way to get everyone involved in recruiting by creating incentives that promote participation. A well-organized, consistent employee referral program will not only increase your talent pool but it will promote employee engagement.

Here are five reasons for your business to start using an employee referral program if you haven’t done so yet:

1.  Employee referral programs increase your talent pool.

The power of your employees’ networks should not be underestimated. There is always top talent out there that will not be reached through traditional job boards, careers sites, recruiters, etc. Your employees, however, have exclusive access to a unique network – their own friends, family, ex-coworkers and acquaintances. The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that the average American has over 634 in their overall networks (from Pew). These networks are potential treasure troves of talent that can become the currency of a well-run employee referral program.

2.  Referrals are worth spending time & resources on

Any hiring manager or recruiter needs to gauge how much time they should spend on any potential hire. If a hire is a long shot and very unlikely to commit, it doesn’t make sense that a hiring manager devote all their effort towards that individual.  The data on referrals shows that they are far more likely to sign on than standard hires, with an applicant-to-hire ratio of 1-3 vs. 1-18 for all other sources (from   In addition, your hiring manager won’t even need to spend as much time on that referral to close the deal.  The data points to the fastest application-to-hire time for referrals, at an average fill time of 29 days vs. 39 days for job boards.

3.  Referrals will be successful hires

The data on the success of referrals does not lie either.  Retention rate and hire quality both come in at the top of the spectrum for referral hires.  This makes sense.  Not only is your current employee vouching for the abilities of this candidate prior to hiring them, but once they are hired they now have an additional sense of ‘duty’ to live up to the potential that their friend vouched for.

4.  Involve your current employees in the hiring process

Not only does involving employees in the hiring process give your HR department some extra manpower, it also fosters a team environment.  If an employee feels partly responsible for landing a star player that ends up making the company more successful, that referring employee  will also end up performing better as an integral part of the team.   In addition, the referring employee might have already worked in the past with their referral candidate, which increases their ability to sync up and work together as a team.

5.  Referral Tracking Software is at the top of its game

An employee referral program is far easier to track in today’s day and age due to employee referral technology. Instead of having a piece on a paper application for a person to write in “referred by,” the process can be smooth and efficient utilizing the latest referral tracking software.

There are standalone tools like referagig that will allow you to create job posts and share them with your employees. They can then take these posts and share them on their social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. Should one of their friends respond to the job, the employee is already linked to that application – making it easy to track the referrals.

There are also integrated referral tracking software systems that sync up to your company’s applicant tracking system.  These referral programs are highly efficient because they leverage the power of your ATS and enable you to manage your referrals from the top level.  Not only does this allow employees to leverage social networks and share job postings through social referral software, but you can ensure employees vouch for their referrals, communicate referral rewards to employees, and track all your hiring program data under one roof.

Should All New Hires Know How to Code?

June 10th, 2013

hiring developersHR professionals need to constantly evaluate the standards by which they judge potential recruits for their firms, especially when it comes to all things digital. For hiring managers and recruiters working in the areas of digital media, marketing and the tech space, an emerging question is whether all new hires should know how to code, or at least be a little bit savvy with computer programming.

It does make sense that hiring managers should know how to look for this ability, even if they are hiring a person for an open position in a very different field, because nowadays, everything does boil back down to the basics of coding.

Unfortunately, programming knowledge and skills are decidedly lacking amongst college graduates in the United States, and bosses in tech firms are becoming less likely to hire those who don’t understand computer programming, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, a Manhattan ad tech company. McDonald points out that high school students in the U.S. are being educated in a school system with eight times as many football teams as schools that offer advanced placement classes in computer science.

At the university level, McDonald notes, 40,000 students are expected to graduate with a B.A. in computer science, while experts predict that companies will establish 120,000 jobs requiring this type of training, which means that there will only be enough graduates to fill one-third of computer science-related positions.

McDonald doesn’t mean to imply that all students need to become hard-core programmers. He suggests that at the very least, students should learn the basics of programming so that they can understand the principles of computer coding in the course of their non-computing jobs.

For example, a recent hire is meeting with a client who wants to know how long it will take to complete a digital project. Without a fundamental grasp of the work that programmers and engineers do, the hire will not be able to give the client a good answer and will have to settle for guessing, which isn’t good for anyone.

Even people who work in sales, marketing or other relatively non-technical departments should familiarize themselves with basic computer language skills.

As a recruiter, you are advised to determine whether your job candidates know at least something about the logic and grammar of computer languages, so they will be able to see their work flow in context.