Tag Archive for Social referral

The Talent Tipping Point

I’ve never been a big fan of the talent community concept. I get the idea. It would be nice if jobs, careers and companies were interesting enough to support real communities. A real community in my opinion, enables everyone to be able to connect, communicate and set the agenda for conversation. Whilst there was a lot of talk by companies wanting a community, what most really wanted was a talent network. The talent network can be defined as up and down communication between the recruiters and potential candidates when the messaging is relevant. Companies like AT&T have done a great job of this by utilising technology like Findly, that enables a simple sign up and the segmentation of data.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the Talent Tipping Point, and what this might be for different organisations. What I mean by this is the number of connections an organisation needs to reach the point of having all the message points they need to fill all of their future hiring needs. This need not be in a formal way via an organised talent network, it might also include social media connections such as fans of the Facebook career page, followers on Twitter or a LinkedIn page. All of these data points are searchable, which simplifies segmenting data, matching to content and jobs, and relevant messaging.

When we consider all of the data points that might be open to recruiters:

1) Current employees for internal mobility. All of the source of hire reports indicate internal mobility and promotions as the number one source. When employee data is retained in the CRM for matching and access by recruiters without the need for permission, and employees are made aware of every relevant opportunity.

2) Ex-employees for boomerang hires. As attitudes are changing to rehiring, organisations are increasing their percentage of rehire’s. This provides another pool of data within the CRM for recruiters, and increased connections. Ex-employee data is valuable because past performance, conduct, skills and achievements are known.

3) Social referral data. Modern referral technology such as RolePoint, (Disclosure: I serve as the lead advisor to RolePoint), enable recruiters to match opted in employees social media and other connections with content and new opportunities. When we consider that the average employee will have 125 Facebook friends, and 240 LinkedIn connections, it is easy to see the potential of gaining access to this data, with the opportunity for matching and messaging.

4) Previous applicants. Consider the high volume of applicants who have shown an interest in the company in the past. When this data is organised for search and retrieval, (rather than simply storage), this provides a huge pool of qualified data of people, some of whom will have already been met and assessed. When the candidate experience has been a good one regardless of the outcome, there could well be an interest in reapplying for the right opportunity.

5) Friends, fans and followers. Individuals are increasingly connecting with companies via LinkedIn and other social pages, Fan pages, Twitter accounts etc. The numbers will increase, and whilst there may be some attrition in connections as people choose to disconnect, other branding activity will bring in new people. This will also include people who choose to sign up for a talent network to keep in touch, in the same way as they might follow a company page.

When we look at these five data sets and consider the volume and relevance of connections, it is easy to see the potential for reaching a Talent Tipping Point of all the connections you are ever likely to need for future recruiting. If we can identify this point, (including relevant skills), backed up with technology for accurate and timely data retrieval in real-time, analytics, data mapping for succession planning and workforce analytics, and relevant messaging, then the focus of the talent acquisition team takes on a new dimension. Hit the tipping point of connections (and you may already be there), and its all about maintenance of relationships and cleanliness of data over new talent attraction.

Exciting times!

Bill

Get Referred: The Big Change In #SocialRecruiting?

There is a feature that I have been noticing appearing on most of the Facebook recruiting applications. The get referred feature enables you to see how you are connected with the employing company, and enables you to message your contacts to ask to be referred for a particular job. In most of the apps you get to see both your LinkedIn connections and your Facebook connections. You can find this feature on the Work4Labs, TMJ,  Gooodjob, Glassdoor, BranchOut, Jibe and more. This might not seem like a big deal, it has become common place, but I think it could be.

My thinking behind this is that it changes the dynamic for social referrals and job pipeline. I’m a big fan of social referrals. The average person has 125 Facebook friends and 225 LinkedIn connections. From the research I’ve conducted there is usually a 20% crossover between the channels, and around 70% relevance for employment. This might be as tenuous as living in the right area, but when you multiply the numbers by the number of employees then there is massive potential.

Applications like Work4Labs and SocialReferral (available through Broadbean Inc) have matching technology under the hood that matches the social profiles of an employees connections, enabling employees to refer jobs to potential candidates creating a relevant and on-going pipeline. The success of social referral programs are dependent on five things:

> Understanding that a social-referral is based on a profile match and is not a recommendation. this means removing accountability and asking for the level of relationship.

> Establishing trust at point of sign up that you want access to networks for automated matching only. You need to provide reassurance that you won’t be stripping any data or messaging anyone without going through the owner of the network first.

> Establishing a review and response time to ALL social referrals regardless of fit.

> Rewards for referrals rather than hires.

> Making the process quick, and using technology to take the work out of matching, with no reliance on memory.

These are the pillars on which I build social referral programs, along with ensuring high-profile visibility and recognition well beyond the launch date. The reality of this however is that most social referral programs falter beyond the first 3 months because they cease to be a priority, become a distraction or the promised rewards or recognition are not forthcoming. There is always a new initiative or something more important that becomes a priority. To make these programs work you need to embed them in to culture, and keep them going. It takes real effort, but the pipeline rewards are significant.

What changes this is the get referred button because this changes the onus from the employee to the interested party in terms of effort. Potentially this also changes the candidate experience where referral candidates are given priority for review and response. It also gives potential candidates the opportunity to look deeper in to companies by enabling conversation and investigation on a peer level before application, and the more informed the candidate, the better the conversion rate to employee, because those who choose to opt in after investigation interview better because they have already established their interest.

LinkedIn go a bit further on their get referred feature because they show the relationship with the advertising recruiter and the closest connections. I’d like to see this feature being integrated in to all the applications beyond who you know, including features like who you know who does this job now with the potential employer. The how are you connected feature is also a great way to promote a talent network, giving potential candidates a great reason to express their interest, even if they are not ready to apply. As this feature catches on, it will only encourage people to make connections within companies that could be of interest at some stage in their career, and offers a very real benefit to those who network.

Combining an internal social referral program with get referred features on all jobs and social places will only enhance your pipeline, and make your applications better. Get referred might just make a real difference to your results.

Bill