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Have you made enough of your employees’ network to fill your roles?

Apparently, if you have 100 employees, you can use their social networks to reach 50,000 potential job candidates for free.  This is according to an infographic doing the rounds over social media.


Sounds good, doesn’t it? If you’ve never tried social recruiting before, this does give you a basic idea of how it can work. But more experienced recruiters will recognise that it isn’t quite that simple. Employee referral has all kinds of hidden costs.


Before you rush into it, ask yourself these questions:


1. Is our employee network reach really that big?


For 100 employees to give you 50,000 contacts, they each need to know 500 people. A different 500 people. No overlap, no mutual friends. Does that sound likely when they all work in the same industry? What matters is the number ofunique contacts each employee can offer you. I’d put that at closer to 250.


2. Can we really reach this network for free?


If you want your employees to introduce you to all their friends and relatives - and regularly send them hiring messages on your behalf - you’re probably going to need to sweeten the deal. Providing these financial incentives will probably cost you thousands per hire. That might still be cheaper than most alternative routes - but it’s not free.


3. Will it really be easy to find candidates this way?


Let’s say you find some suitable candidates in this network… how are you going to get them interested? In my experience, if you take the cheap option of messaging candidates, under 10% will show up to an interview. Many won’t be looking for a job, or will need more persuasion.


You can provide that extra persuasion if you call each candidate individually. But that comes with a significant time cost - and you’ll still probably get under 50% of them interested.


Conclusions: Hiring Staff Through Your Employee Network


For these reasons - and many more - hiring staff through your employee network isn't as quick or easy as ‘100 employees = 50,000 candidates’. It takes a serious investment of time and/or money required. However, it can deliver good results for larger companies.


The key to success? Tracking metrics so you know how much time and money it’s costing you per successful hire. This enables you to fine-tune your approach - and to compare social recruiting with your other recruiting methods and see if it delivers a good return.


Would your time and money be better invested in creating a bigger social media following, or a LinkedIn group? These are the types of questions you need to be testing and answering to become successful in the social recruiting space.

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