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Recruiting per employee: Search your colleagues themselves!

Finding good employees is for many Company almost more difficult to win than customer. Since it sounds tempting to move employees to look for their future colleagues themselves - after all, they have to work with them. But the method has its pitfalls.Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®

Minimize the risk of hiring new employees

New hires are always associated with risks for companies: Does the new employee fit into Team? Will he do his job well? And is it even worth the lengthy, cost-intensive application process?

By contrast, when employees recommend colleagues, they specifically contact those who are actually suitable - with much less wastage than, for example, job advertisements. In addition, referrers themselves are the best ambassadors for the employer brand that applicants trust. The risk of disappointment is thus minimized on both sides.

Examples of employee referral programs

The Internet company Travelbird from Amsterdam, for example, pays a bonus in the course of a staff referral program, when someone is recommended for hard-to-fill positions such as in IT, who gets the job - and proves himself.

The Berlin entrepreneur Peter Chaljawski with his Chal-Tec GmbH has also focused on employee recommendations from the very beginning in order to reduce costs and effort - and has above all made positive experiences: “Our employees usually have good contacts in the e-commerce scene and are happy that they can help shape their work environment. They are rarely friends, but more often former work colleagues, business partners or recommendations from them. The advantage is that you know their way of working and their strengths and weaknesses profile. This is particularly helpful in key positions. "

If the new colleague survives the probationary period, the referrers receive a bonus, the amount of which depends on the difficulty of the newly filled position. Chaljawski does not see the risk of group formation or that employees can be held accountable for bad recommendations: The employee establishes the contact and the lead, in the end it is up to him HR and management to assess the candidate as part of a normal application process. This is why the recruiting department remains important, especially in fast-growing companies. "

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Not just for StartUps

But anyone who thinks that such referral programs are just a cost-effective recruiting tool for startups is wrong: traditional companies such as the Hamburger Volksbank have been relying on employee recommendations for years: With the slogan “You know each other”, the bank encourages its employees to actively contact them potential colleagues.

If this turns into an employment contract, the advertisers can drive the company's own MINI convertible for two months free of charge. This fun factor and prestige increases the loyalty to the employer - and thus also its advertising effect. And HR manager Wolfram Kaiser has made the experience that the recommended employees are particularly team-minded and loyal: "Among the new hires who left the company, there was only one person from the recommendation program," says Kaiser.

Employee recommendations are trendy

No wonder that employee recommendations are in vogue. A series of studies by the Center of Human Resources Information Systems at the University of Bamberg in cooperation with the Monster career portal shows:

Already, a quarter of the top German 1.000 companies have implemented employee referral programs and 8,2 percent of the actual attitudes come about. However, the differences are large depending on the sector: SMEs account for only 18,8 percent, while the IT sector uses more than half of these companies.

Employees are afraid of recommendations

However, there are also reservations: four out of ten employees are afraid to recommend candidates, as their possible poor performance could fall back on them. More than half of the employees even feel responsible for the performance of the colleagues they recommend. And two out of ten employees do not recommend anyone from their circle of acquaintances because they do not want to work with friends or acquaintances in a company.

You can also see the awarding of bonus prizes, as the management thinker Anne Schüller explains: “The real secret of success in recommending is based on voluntariness. If the referrer learns that money has flowed, credibility and trust can suffer. One develops reservations and in the end it is better not to follow the not entirely unselfish advice. The greatest advantages of recommending are therefore gone. "

Checklist for employers

Companies that want to use employee referrals should take a close look:

  • Is the premium for the recommendation a meaningful incentive?
  • Does it lead to an increased commitment of the employees and thus to an additional advertising effect in the Network?
  • And how do the recommendations ultimately affect the recruitment success? For example, how high is the graduation rate, but also the turnover rate?
  • In which departments are recommendations particularly successful?
  • And what costs are incurred compared to conventional recruiting?

Only with reliable key figures can one ultimately decide to what extent employee recommendations can complement or even replace traditional HR work.

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One answer to "Employee recruiting: Find your colleagues yourself!"

  1. Julie Hutchison says:

    RT @Berufebilder: Recruiting by employees - Our contribution in Lead Digital: Find your colleagues yourself! - Recommended contribution YM1HeN0UzJ # Experience ...

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