If we were to take a random sample of recruiters and ask them one question - If you could hire from just one channel, which one would you choose? I believe the unanimous answer would be - Employee Referrals.
The answer isn’t surprising at all. After all, employees hired through the referral process are:
Further Reading: Here is Why Employee Referrals are the Best Way to Hire by LinkedIn Talent Blog
And all the recruiters in the world know this - 82% of employers rely on the employee referral programs.
And yet, on ground, the best laid employee referral plans fail. Why?
The recruiter is assigned a newly open role in the intake meeting.
She comes out and creates a well structured Job Description and uploads it on the Application Tracking System (ATS). The ATS does its blitz and the opening with the JD is live at 50+ job boards.
The ATS doesn’t stop there. It creates a unique referral link for each employee of the company. Anyone who applies through that link is counted as a referral by the employee (whose link it is) and the referral bonus gets credited.
It’s the perfect set up. It should work flawlessly. Only, it doesn’t.
While recruiters do all the hard work of setting up the referral program and the links for each open role, the steps beyond that are beyond the recruiter’s control. All the recruiter can do after the setup is - Follow Up.
And that’s for the recruiters.
Conclusion: The existing referral process doesn’t work because it is Passive. It expects the employees to do everything while making the recruiters handicapped.
The answer is pretty simple - by making referral proactive.
The real question, however, is how to make referrals proactive. Let’s explore that.
The existing systems of recruitment aren’t really built for proactive referrals. However, you can follow the system manually, hacked together with spreadsheets, Airtable, LinkedIn, and Gmail.
Here’s the Airtable Database you can use to run referrals: Airtable Base (make sure you make a copy and use it). And here’s how to set up automated reminders on Airtable.
Ok. Jokes apart, the Circles module is built to make referrals dead-simple for companies. The recruiters are always in control and can orchestrate the entire referral flow rather than just ‘following up’.
Circles is the internal network of employees and their first level connections - imported from LinkedIn, Gmail, and other private sources.
The way we think about Circles is:
Recruiters on Kula have access to the Org Circles. Org Circles is the cumulative view of all the individual employees' ‘Circles' combined. It's an exclusive talent pool of all employees' first-degree connections and a talent goldmine for recruiters to source and make demand referrals.
Recruiters have a list of open roles with them. Instead of asking employees to find out a best-fit candidate from their network, recruiters find that candidate from the Org Circle and ask for an intro from the connected employee.
The above flow triggers an email to the mutually connected employee with an intro request email.
As you see above, the email would have 2 CTAs:
- Make Intro: Clicking this CTA will bring the employee to the Kula dashboard with a pre-filled email, keeping the recruiter in CC, and the candidate in the 'To' field. The employee can click on send with the pre-filled email or edit the email content to make it more personal.
- Deny Intro: If the employee isn't comfortable making the intro, they can deny it. While denying, the employee is again brought back to the Kula dashboard, where they can confirm denying an intro by selecting a reason for denial.
The proactive referral flow is a gamechanger for brands. It cut the hiring TAT for one of Kula’s customers by 80%. The usual referral flow took them 6 weeks, the Circles flow took less than 10 days to hire an engineer in their founding team.
Here’s the story of how Chronicle, an early stage start-up made referrals proactive.
You can run your referral program with your current setup, or using the Airtable hack. However, if you believe your recruitment stack needs a raise and deserves to function with the tools of today, sign up for a demo of the Kula platform.