The Talent Scout Episode 14: How to use your employees as part of your recruitment process
4 minutes | Posted 14 May, 2020

Today, we’re going to look at how your people, your employees, play a massive part in your recruitment process whether you want them to or not. And how you can work with your people to achieve your recruitment goals.

Your employees and your Employer Brand

Your employees are the living proof of your employer brand. You might have buzzwords like synergy and dynamic as your core values and cornerstones of your Employer Brand but your employees are the ones that either confirm this with their stamp of approval or reveal it as nothing but smoke and mirrors. The impact this will have on your recruitment efforts will vary depending on who you are and where you are but the most visual symptoms you’ll have are challenges in attracting candidates. This will present itself by being ghosted by candidates you offer roles to, or just having your preferred candidates reject your offer. If you’ve been seeing a consistent pattern of this, it might be time to start looking at the pressure your Employees are exerting on your Employer Brand, and as such, your overall recruitment process.

Employer Branding is a huge topic but when it comes to your employees and your recruitment process, the best thing you can do is get a sense of what your employees think of you; not what you’d like them to think of you. And by you, we, of course, mean your organization.

What your Employees think of you

Just to clarify, we’re not talking about what they say to their managers but what they would likely say to their friends about your company. Now it is impossible to be a fly on the wall in those conversations, but you’ll get a pretty good idea of the content of those conversations by looking at what is being said in reviews about your company on sites like Glassdoor as well as in response to anonymous surveys you carry out on your employee base.

This will give you a clear indicator as to where you’re both achieving and falling down as an employer. The negative feedback, in particular, will be of importance because even if the complaints aren’t being voiced to you, I can guarantee that message is getting to a large proportion of the candidates that are interested in applying for your role. The damage it can do will depend on how jarring it is as a message when compared to the message you’re trying to convey about your employer branding and employee value proposition. If the employer branding message you’re trying to get across is how your organization is more like a family then a workplace but the message candidates see when reading about you on Glassdoor is how you have a really high turnover and management that don’t listen, well you can kiss that candidate goodbye. They’re never going to apply.

Dealing with online reviews

If you’re getting slammed online in Employee Reviews and in internal surveys the situation isn’t dire. In the long term, you’re probably going to want to invest in some Employer Branding programs and some Employee Engagement programs, but in the short term, there are some quick changes you can make.

Now just to be clear, these changes aren’t a solution, they’re a band-aid to buy you some time. If the reviews you’re facing online are dire then you need to take ownership of them. Most online review sites allow an employer to take control of the page and respond to the reviews, make sure you do this. Thank the employees and former employees for their feedback and tell them how you’re implementing their feedback to improve things. This can be a powerful message of growth and transformation for potential candidates. But, it’s a quick fix. If you lie here or don’t act on the momentum you’ve gained you’ll very quickly end up with a slew of bad reviews, most likely from disgruntled new hires that bought into your messaging only to be disappointed on day one.

Employee Surveys

The next thing you need to do is develop an action plan around the employee survey you received and share this with your employees. You don’t need to fix every single issue that they have but areas of overlap should be addressed and your employees should have a timeline of what it is you intend to fix and how you’re going to fix it. Transparency here is key, and proactively addressing the issues your employees are having will transform the message that is trickling out to prospective candidates, which will, in turn, bolster your recruitment process.

Referral Programs

You can also bolster your recruitment process through referral programs. These programs can take many different forms based on your needs and what stimulates your Employees most but they can be a really effective means sourcing top talent within a specific industry. Engineers are going to know other engineers; salespeople are going to know other salespeople. Referrals are also an excellent indicator of how you look in the candidate market place as an employer; if none of your employees are ever referring their friends for any of your open roles then you there’s an issue. If employees don’t want their friends working with them, there is something wrong with how your organization is treating its people. Again, a deep dive with an Employer Branding project or and Employee Engagement project can help you out here.

However, there is the potential that employees just don’t know they have the option to refer their friends. Being open with them and setting up a referral program can be a really good way of finding that top talent. The most common means of achieving this is usually a financial bonus after the new hire has completed their probation but there are other means too. Some companies where employees who refer others for a role get put into a draw during the year and at the end, one employee is picked to win an all-expenses-paid holiday.

There are lots of ways to really effectively engage your employees in recruitment. You could also set up lunch and learn sessions or guest speakers. In this scenario, you’d open and close the session with details of your open roles on the projector and if possible you’d also allow employees to invite their friends to the session as well.

Ultimately, what we are saying is that your employees are a vast network with connections to skilled people that you’ll likely never see. Make sure you access that network as part of your recruitment efforts. Work with your employees to develop an Employer Brand that is both authentic and showcases your organization in a positive light.

Your employees are always going to talk about the organization they work within; working with them to develop that message into something positive will transform your recruitment process!

If you would like to know more about how Scout Talent can help you to improve your recruitment systems, call us at 1 866 474 3140 or click the button below.

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