The global talent pool is shrinking again. According to the US DOL – Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average unemployment rate has dipped below the pre-recession rates to just 4.9%. Adecco, a leading international staffing agency, reports that 31% of best in class companies are planning on increasing hiring in 2017. 47% of the companies pooled by Adecco listed candidate shortages as a significant concern.
Amy Glaser, Senior VP at Adecco Staffing USA, who writes for Recruiting Trends, advises that just a few years ago, there was a similar war for talent, and that, “Many employers chose to address this by implementing employee-referral programs.”
Glaser shares tips for making employee referral programs work, because they have been shown to be highly successful in the past. Referred candidates are hired at a rate of 1-out-of-3 applications for top-performing firms, and Glaser predicts "the ratio will only increase."
Adecco has implemented employee referrals as a primary way to identify qualified talent, even during talent shortages. They offer bonuses to their temporary staffing employees and they use employee-referral programs to recruit for clientele. Glaser points out the low risk that employee-referral programs pose, while still being a viable and customized solution for many industries and recruitment budgets.
There are a couple of reasons why organizations may resist using employee referrals, including: undermining diversity hiring initiatives and damaging relationships when a referred employee doesn’t perform as expected.
Glaser shares that the ways to overcome these potential problems is to be transparent about the program, be organized with a tracking system, leverage social media networks where most candidates will be hanging out, and to think outside the organization’s internal employees – extend referral programs to candidates too.