Get More Employee Referrals With a Better Hiring Experience

Employee referrals

Did you know 3 out of 4 job seekers consider looking for a job one of life’s most stressful events? That’s 75% of people saying the job search ranks up there with occurrences like the death of a loved one, divorce, or relocating. It’s been noted that individuals have more anxiety about job hunting than an upcoming root canal.

This begs the question: If you already have a job, why leave? Why invite that kind of pressure when you don’t have to?

One of the most predictable ways to find a new job is through employee referrals. When your friend has already been there, you can trust the experience is worth the effort.

The right hires are out there. But unless you make the hiring process smooth and engaging, minimizing stressors as much as possible, how will you consistently attract good people? Before you can retain skill and talent, you have to hire it. Before you can hire it, you have to attract it. How do you attract the best, relevant candidates?

You create a better hiring experience.

What Makes a “Better” Hiring Experience?

First of all, focus on the word experience. That’s right. Not a headache, a pain in the neck, or a chore. Not a nightmare. But an experience – synonymous with ideas of memorable journeys and even exciting adventures.

It has to be this way. You already have the “stressful life event” factor stacked against you. Not to mention any mixed feedback or bad reviews about your business. Did you know that 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase? (Betterteam, 2017)

These are the kinds of barriers you face when it comes to attracting the best employees. So, you have to give the right people a reason to take the first step.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Remember what it was like when you were considering switching jobs.

You find a great opportunity and want to apply. After you finally complete an application and garner the courage to click “submit,” you anticipate the deafening silence. There’s no response for days.

And the anxieties are rolling in like waves in the ocean. You start asking questions. Lots of questions.

Did the company receive your materials?

Why haven’t you heard back?

Have you wasted your time applying?

You eventually get word they want to talk. Maybe you should be thrilled, but you have no idea what’s around the bend. You’re drowning in questions again.

What’s this process going to look like?

You’ve got a life outside of work, and things are crazy right now. Is this even worth the effort?

How long will it take?

Is it really a good idea to add this stress to your plate?

People are used to a flood of unknowns during a job search. They understand the hunt to be anything but an experience. Honestly, they’d rather have a root canal than endure the wait and overwhelming uncertainty. It’s our responsibility as employers to be sensitive to that. And it’s in our best interest to change it.

De-Stressing Your Hiring Process

If people are this stressed about applying for new jobs, what’s to be done? How can you mitigate such anxiety when it all seems out of your control?

This experience must be designed to be thoughtful, consistent, and effective. All around you, there are systems in your company designed for optimal production, health and safety, customer satisfaction, and the list goes on and on.

But the right hires are at the core of all these systems. They are the lifeblood of your company. And you must understand that recruiting good people requires its own fine-tuned, well-oiled system.

Let’s have a look at where to start.

The Employee-First Approach

If you long to hire and retain the best employees, you’ve got to do the work upfront. At Core Matters, we believe in keeping employees engaged. And that engagement begins immediately. Right after they click “submit.” In fact, the way we see it, these job seekers must be engaged before they’re even your employees.

You may be thinking, “Easier said than done.” And you’re right. It may not be easy to create this new and improved hiring experience. After all, you have to ask yourself…

  • What will this look like for our particular company?
  • Do we have a hiring process in place?
  • What needs to be different in our hiring process?
  • Where do we begin?

Begin designing your improved hiring process by exploring the defining moments a job seeker has when applying with your company.

Defining moments are those moments that make an impact. They set the stage for everything else to come. In a typical recruiting process, there are five of them. But before we get into that, let’s look at how we need to communicate throughout this process.

Communication Counts

Communication counts. And not just communication when you get a chance. Not a vague “we’ll be in touch.” It’s important to extend prompt, clear, and helpful communication.

Over half of job seekers never hear back. Imagine being excited about a new opportunity, patiently waiting for a response and… nothing. Weeks pass. It’s the deafening silence. Again. What a waste of time and energy, you think.

In fact, it’s one of the primary reasons job seekers don’t take the time to accurately complete an application. There’s less than a 2% chance they’ll get an interview and less than a 30% chance they’ll ever hear back.

We’ve done this to ourselves, and now we’re paying the price because job seekers appear to no longer care.

It’s why job searching gets a bad rap. The sentiment is you’ve pitched your application into oblivion. Did anyone read it? Has anyone been hired?

What if things were different?

What if you treated applications like customer leads?

If an applicant receives a response in 15 minutes, how does that make them feel? They feel respected. They’re interested in learning more. They’re engaged. And employee engagement begins during the hiring process.

The 5 Defining Moments

As you’re designing a better hiring experience, think about the defining moments a job seeker experiences. Let these serve as guides for your hiring system. Once again, step into their shoes. Anticipate their frustrations, questions, and worries. Extinguish the flames of uncertainty before they become full-blown, stressful fires.

If you structure your hiring around these defining moments, you’ll notice a difference. You’ll attract the right people because the right people will want to be a part of this experience.

1. Clicking “Submit”

This is the very first defining moment for a job seeker. They’ve filled out your application, attached their cover letter and resume, and clicked “submit.” It’s likely they have mixed emotions. They’re relieved, excited, curious, but also anxious. It’s natural. You want to be certain all of this doesn’t morph into stress, though.

So, send a quick follow-up. Map out the process for them. Be clear. If you’re reviewing resumes in the first 24 hours, let them know. Inform them of the next steps like phone interviews, face-to-face interviews, skills assessments, and more. When you’re open about these things, job seekers feel included and engaged from the start. You’re setting yourself up for an outstanding employee-first experience.

2. The First Interview

The same individuals who rank the job search next to death and divorce also dread interviews. Think back to your own first interviews with companies. Remember those nerves and unknowns? What if the culture surrounding these interviews began to change? If you want to see the best candidates in their best light, set them up to shine.

Maybe this arrives in the form of a welcome package. Perhaps you reach out via a letter, video, or download. The point is, let them know you’re happy about meeting with them. Present expectations, and give them some peace of mind. It’s important to maintain momentum in all of these phases.

3. An Invitation to the Top 3

Announce your top 3, and celebrate these people. It depends on the particular open position in your company, but you might take them to lunch individually or as a group. You might host a small gathering and observe interactions. Recognize these potential hires in a special way.

4. The Offer

The day has come. You make your “hopeful” an offer. There’s a lot going on. Essentially, you’re committing to this person’s career path and personal growth, along with their family, hopes, and dreams. It sounds like a huge deal, right? It is.

You’ve begun some serious onboarding the minute you extend the offer. The moves you make from here onward matter. Don’t back off. Now is the time to engage them even more.

5. The Wait

This is the period of 2-4 weeks between your new hire’s offer acceptance and start date. Since you’ve focused on hiring people who are already employed, you must anticipate this wait. So often, employers make offers, and then they go quiet.

Cue the stress again. Exactly what we want to avoid.

You’re not the only one waiting here. Your new hire is waiting, too. And if you’ve gone silent, they may begin to stress about their new position. You have to engage them. Keep them in the loop. Let them know you’re excited to have them. Inform them of opportunities ahead. If you do this right, the transition will be easier for them. Best of all, they’ll be thrilled and prepared to make that transition.

Better Hiring Experiences Are Engaging Ones

There’s the basic outline. And this can apply to any open position. Perhaps it’s surprising, but you can automate a lot of this. Automation is key because when you automate what’s important, what’s important gets done.

Creating this type of hiring experience will pay dividends. Often employees are leaving behind friends at their old employer. Those friends are waiting to see how it works out for your new hire. By crafting a remarkable hiring process, you may be able to attract other great employees shortly after your new hire starts. Employee referrals can provide some of the best job candidates.

You want applicants sharing this positive hiring experience with others. Suddenly, you have raving fans out there, talking on your behalf. Spreading the word. And your competitors’ employees, who weren’t even looking for new jobs, are interested. They’re the people you’ve been trying to find all along, and now, they’re coming to you.

Why? You’ve created a stress-free, engaging hiring experience.

Start Getting Employee Referrals 

Attract the right people and do it the right way. When you design an employee-first hiring experience, you remove the difficulty of looking for a job. You tear down a barrier, and shift the mindset from worry and fear to inclusion and possibility. You communicate that you value your employees and solidify your brand. And, after all this, the right people pour in.

Employee referrals are the best way to grow a high performing team. When you create a better hiring experience, your team is more likely to share their experience and recommend you to their friends.

Make this hiring process a priority in your company right now. Reach out today and let’s begin creating an employee-first experience that’s both attractive and engaging.