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March 12, 2014
4 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged



You might be closer to your next great hire than you think. Recent studies have shown the employee referral is the No. 1 source of external hires.

Employee referrals make up just over a quarter of your external hires -- far more than your company’s career site (21.2 percent) -- yet too many companies are neglecting their referral programs.

Consider this: a candidate who comes through your employee referral program is three to four times more likely to be hired, probably because your current employees understand your company goals as well as the strengths of their contact. For companies looking to cut down on the cumbersome time-to-hire, employee referrals are also typically hired much faster than other applicants.

So, how does proper talent alignment help you hire great people faster? Here are four ways proper alignment is the key to mobilizing your employee referral program:

Talent Alignment Improves Corporate Communication

One of the reasons employees don’t often refer their talented friends is because the company isn’t communicating the importance of the employee referral program. In fact, studies show 60 percent of employees expressed willingness to participate in an employee referral program. However, only 23 percent actually do so because their company doesn’t actively promote the program.

You need your best people referring their best people so your company can accomplish important tasks. Focusing on proper alignment can help you improve corporate communication, leading employees to understand the importance of great referrals.

With improved corporate communication, you can truly understand what motivates your best people. Thanks to greater organizational transparency, you can incentivize your employee referral program using the perks your team really craves. Instead of just guessing what kind of perks your employees want, focusing on transparency means you’ll know for sure your incentives are actually motivating the referrals you need.

Employees Understand Goals

Talent alignment means employees can see and understand the goals they’re working toward. This helps your best people conceptualize their own role in the organization, and it also means they can better understand the place a new hire would occupy in the organizational hierarchy.

Instead of just a static job description, ongoing talent alignment allows employees to see how everyone contributes to the large scale picture. This can help your current crop of employees make smarter and more helpful employee referrals.

Write a Better Job Description With Goal Alignment

Writing a great job description can be the difference between a getting a top-notch new hire and the wrong person for the job. Thanks to proper alignment, executives don’t just see new positions in terms of general requisitions to be filled. Instead, they know exactly which milestones the employee will be working toward and which skills they’ll need to contribute to the organization.

Focusing on goal alignment can help ensure the job description your employees see is clearer and action-based, helping employees better explain open positions to their network. Using a goal-based job description, referred candidates understand why their contributions matter before they even step foot in the office.

Improving Employee Retention

Since referred employees understand company goals and their own role in the organization from day one, it’s not hard to see why referred employees stay longer. Generally speaking, 45 percent of referred employees are still with the organization after two years, when compared to only 21 percent of employees coming through job boards.

These numbers may grow if you coupled referrals with a strong talent alignment system where team members can see their place in the organization and always understand which goals they’re working toward.

If you want your employee referral program full of talented and smart candidates, you need to take a critical look at your alignment. By focusing on goals, you can improve corporate communication and even employee retention. A goal-oriented focus can help you properly incentivize your employee referral program, so you hire great people every time.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr user SalFalco

What are some ways you plan to improve your employee referral program? Share in the comments!


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