Recruiters also take the route of financial reward. “£250 if you refer a friend” …so long as x, y and z happen, within the time frame of a, b and c. Ok, so I have a problem with this. The word that springs to mind is `Desperation`.
The problem I have is perception. People I find, rarely trust financial reward, weird as that sounds. Also the perception created by the offering of financial reward, is one of last resort, nothing else left to try, throw money at it… desperation. If I worked for a corporate firm, and HR were sending through emails offering me rewards to find future staff, I’d be wondering a) what the hell is wrong the recruitment team that exists already, what are they doing? …or b) why can we not attract talent already? We’re a good company… right?
Even moreso with recruitment agencies, where 100% of their efforts should surround the actions of attracting and sourcing talent. Why are they resorting to financial rewards?? I wrote about my feelings on recommendation and referral in my 3 Rs blog last year. In the track at #trulondon, I got in early with my view point on this, but the conversation still drifted back into monetary schemes.
My viewpoint is that recommendation and referral is a natural human action. We do it all the time, suggestions of restaurants, bars, clothes, best routes of travel, etc. It is a human condition to automatically want to help others. The irony was Master’s study confirmed this, that some 80% of referral activity is triggered by plain old good nature – yet the conversation still recoiled into financial and materials reward strategy, with the conclusion continually reverting back to it’s lack of success. I chipped in with the third R… “Reputation” – which brought some nods, some silence – and then a return to the rewards strategy doom discussion.
But hold on?! WHAT ABOUT REPUTATION???!What about good old `being an employer of choice`? What about creating the impression of a ‘great place to work’? What about the idea of creating employee advocation by just being a great place to work, supporting staff, entertaining the staff, rewarding great performance, acknowledging great contribution, doing special things that make employees proud – let alone the outside world. Employees are indeed the best form of recommendation and referral – they already work there – but if they think you are a great company, they will do it anyway. If you are not a great company, cutting corners, underpaying, under-rewarding, over-working, ignoring stars, not paying bills, restraining creativity, then your employees won’t refer people, whether you pay them £250, £1000, or a weekend in Barcelona! Those employees secretly want to leave, so they’re not going invite their friends, or friends of friends in!
Companies can also create a fantastic external reputation through online and social media communications and presence. Companies should be creating interesting videos on YouTube (see Content & Motion), allowing key staff to communicate through twitter, have an engaging Facebook page with clear employment input (see Bill Boorman’s Hard Rock Cafe example), creating events and public accessibility. Look like a company who are great to work for, and demonstrate employee contentment and excitement publicly – and everywhere this presence exists, make sure there is a ‘work for us’ button – maybe with links to a jobs page, which SHOULD LOOK INTERESTING!! Don’t make your jobs page a series of Black & White type outs, make it interesting.Recruitment is not about desperation, mild bribery and twisting people’s financial consciousness. It’s about being a great company, with great brand, with great employee experience, and great presence. Looking fantastic, and being a place people just want to work within the target group of relevant professionals – whether industry-wise or geographically.
I welcome your thoughts.