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Employee Referrals - Social Media Recruiting Strategy Via Your Staff

We’ve learned lots recently about Careerify, an App specifically for corporates which utilises the employees of their company to promote job-listings on their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn status-updates, pushing them out to their friends, followers and connections in the hope of getting vacancies filled through referrals, rather than posting on expensive job-boards or paying a recruitment consultancy.
Careerify tailor the cost of using the app to each individual business, and can be relatively inexpensive – from USD$5-$7 per employee per month (so for a business of 250 employees, would set you back around ‚¬1000 a month, and if you’ve around 30 vacancies per year, at an average of ‚¬40k salary each, and recruitment consultancy fees of 15%, you’ll save around ‚¬168k in fees after you pay Careerify). This saving in itself seems worth it. If your business promotes internal referrals for new hires and awards a referral-fee to the employee that referred the new hire, Careerify will enable HR to track exactly where that hire came from, and ensure that the reward is paid. On average, referral-fees are around the ‚¬1000 mark, so even taking in to account in our example the 30 new-hire rewards, your business has still saved ‚¬138,000 on recruitment consultancy fees alone.
So will this strategy actually work? There’s loads of benefits to hiring directly through referrals – you engage your employees, they become Brand Ambassadors for your company, and employee retention goes up (and a higher retention means happier employees and greater business culture). What may be the most tricky part though is getting all employee’s buy-in to allow their employer to use their status updates to promote jobs. While the employer has no access to individual profiles of their employees, many people just have a feeling that their Facebook profile is personal and sacred. I suppose to Careerify’s advantage is that it’s applicable across not just Facebook, but Twitter and LinkedIn too, which are generally more public forums. Furthermore, one cannot assume that all vacancies will be filled by referrals only, so a contingency for needing to advertise positions externally will need to be incorporated.
While we recognize that this product looks great from what Careerify tell us (and the fact that they won the Microsoft 2011 Blue Sky Award for Innovation), what we can’t tell you however is what it actually looks like, or what it’s like to operate from a customer’s point of view. Careerify refused to let us trial the product. And if you want to trial the product yourself, they’ll still charge you for the privilege, and if you like it after that you can arrange a bespoke contract with them.
Has your company a similar initiative internally where employees use social media to refer their friends and acquaintances to roles in the company? What are your thoughts? Might it look like a healthy solution to several ails in your business – costs, recruitment, productivity and retention? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

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