Posts Tagged ‘employee referral program’

Need to Hire Engineers Fast?

January 10th, 2014

Silicon Valley is filled with startups looking for the best engineers for their teams. With a growing number of startup companies, but no large increase in available engineers, the recruiting process for coveted talent has become highly competitive.

The Demand of Employee Recruitment

Many companies don’t have the extreme amount of time it often takes to hire the number of engineers they need for their team. According to an article published by TechCrunch, hiring 12 engineers over the course of the year would require 19 hours of recruitment a week. This process, according to TechCrunch, requires a dedicated staffing recruiter on the payroll and a well-considered recruitment plan to be successful:

Hiring is what enables you to execute your product roadmap. So, falling behind on recruiting is a competitive issue.

Crunching Numbers

The first part of a solid recruitment plan is to understand what candidate recruitment will really take. Without any thought as to the requirements, seeking new team members will be like shooting in the dark; no goals, no deadlines and no game plan.

A heavy part of the consideration should come from employee referrals and closing percentages; time hunting is greatly reduced by employees who are able to refer specific engineers for the job, but ultimately your effectiveness in hiring is what must be examined. The technical recruiter at Sequioia Bret Reckard believes that around 75 percent of job offers should be accepted for a company to feel like their recruitment is healthy and their hiring process is operating at premium efficiency.

Time-Saving Referrals

For startup businesses, no brand name means tougher recruitment processes. With major companies like Twitter part of the fray and paying their senior vice president of engineering over $10 million, startups may find the Silicone Valley scene daunting. TechCrunch points out:

To find one new engineer, you need to scour LinkedIn, GitHub and your employees’ networks to identify 100 people who appear to have the right skills. Of those, maybe 10 people will be interested and open to a job change. After hours on the phone and countless cups of coffee, you’ll have a small pool of candidates.

Referrals allow you to skip these early stages of recruiting—the candidate’s contact at your company did that for you.

All Hands on Deck

This doesn’t mean an open door policy for employee referrals—this means a systemized and company-wide approach to getting new leads for possible candidates. Employees should be a part of regular meetings for listing the best engineers they’ve previously worked with, attended school with or have met in their business networking.

From a streamlined hiring process to the atmosphere of the work environment, businesses should make sure an efficient and positive structure is in place from the very first contact with each candidate.

Looking for Talent: Inside or Outside Your Organization?

September 6th, 2013

hire internally or externallyMichael Ducy’s article “Hire Goats, Not Outside DevOps Engineers” on advocates sourcing candidates from within an organization rather than externally. He compares DevOps, with their unique blend of bridge-building and multi-disciplinary skills, to goats, which constantly test limits and boundaries when they are fenced in.

Goat analogy aside, Ducy hits home in the crux of the matter: can an outsider really make effective cultural changes in an organization? In making the decision to re-position employees or hire externally, you must consider organizational health and culture as well as the specific job requirements.

Sourcing from Within the Organization

Promoting from within saves costs and time just in terms of the recruiting process. Other advantages are:

  • Candidate knows the organization and its structure
  • Connections and relationships already exist
  • Candidate is a proven asset
  • Improved employee morale as peers recognize career opportunities; retention tool
  • Better acceptance of new ideas within existing team

On the negative side, you’re drawing from a smaller talent pool. There is also the risk of stagnancy, training and learning curve time.

A well-developed and strategic succession plan will help identify candidates for open positions. Besides experience and technical expertise, the plan should include soft skills like leadership and teamwork strengths as well as the ability to negotiate and build bridges.

Hiring Externally

An external candidate can be a catalyst for change in processes, and can also:

  • Bring more experience and education to the job, as well as up-to-date technical knowledge
  • Have a fresh outlook with new energy and new ideas
  • Reduce your training needs

However, external searches are costly and time-consuming. The incumbent will need to learn the organization’s culture and structure. Morale could dwindle as other employees see fewer promotional opportunities and resist new ideas. Dealing with an unknown may be risky in terms of experience and performance.

Is there a middle ground? Perhaps an employee referral of an external candidate would be the best of both worlds. Your employee could judge the fit as he knows the candidate as well as the organization and its culture.  In addition, employee referral programs often provide good incentives to those employees that the referral stems from, which can also improve morale.

Is There Only One Answer?

Of course not. Each hiring decision must be made based on a position’s requirements and overall organizational health. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I concerned about retaining key leaders? Is our organizational culture very strong? Is employee morale and acceptance of new ideas important? Think about repositioning from within.
  • Is it a turnaround role? Do I want a catalyst for change? Do we need to invigorate the function with new competencies? Consider looking externally.

Whether you promote from within or hire externally, always seek the best candidate from the job, not only for experience and technical skills but also for organization and cultural fit.

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.