As we near the end of 2019 and approach another busy January, alongside the usual festivities, many companies are preparing for a busy recruiting season!  In a challenging hiring market with the demand for candidates at an all time high, it is important to have a clear recruitment strategy in place in order to bag the talent you need.

Social media changed everything for hirers’ but another favourite source of candidates for businesses has become the nearest and dearest or even vaguely associated with existing employees!   Refer a friend / recommend a friend schemes have become hugely popular with companies of all sizes and recruiter database Bullhorn reported that it was the best single source of high quality candidates during 2018. We have seen incentives varying from £250 right up to £2000 which is a handsome sum to complement anyone’s income and a seemingly win win situation for all concerned.

Whilst we should never look a gift horse in the mouth, what are the true pros and cons of refer a friend schemes?

The pros;

  • Attracting candidates in by referral saves hugely on recruitment costs incurred through other means
  • It is highly likely that your best people who perform well and fit culturally have similar individuals in their networks resulting in replicating your ideal employee
  • These networks give you access to “passive” candidates who would not otherwise be actively searching for work unless prompted by your employee
  • This gives companies the chance to reward and engage existing staff

The cons;

  • It is tempting to make assumptions that just because John Smith has been perfect that John’s friend would be equally fantastic avoiding the necessary vetting process
  • Working with friends and family is known for presenting challenges and difficult dynamics on occasion. If you upset John and John’s whole family work for you it could be an interesting week!
  • Companies need to ensure that in order to find the best possible people for their roles they still use all available methods of recruitment

So our tips for ensuring that this funnel works with optimum results are;

  • When you implement your scheme ensure that it is communicated well and that the reward in place appeals to the masses, not just those that are motivated by financial means alone i.e you could look at charity donations as an alternative
  • Ensure that the requirements of prospective candidates are clear so as to avoid disappointment if friends/family members are rejected
  • To ensure quality, split the reward to be paid upon commencement and the remainder at completion of probation
  • Ensure that these candidates are put through an equally robust vetting process to ensure that they are the correct fit for the role
  • Be certain that you understand the dynamics of the relationships that exist between referrer so as to minimise disruption
  • Be sure to be open minded to all other recruitment channels such as advertising, Linked In, social media platforms and agency so you get the best person for the role that is available

Here at Elite, we enjoy helping clients on all aspects of recruitment strategy so to discuss how we can assist get in touch with the team on 01823 429566.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!