Tuesday Apr 23, 2013

Want to Hire and Retain the Best Talent? Leverage Your Employees’ Social Media Networks

By Steve Viarengo, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle Talent Management Cloud Service

In a recently published Oracle whitepaper, “The Shortest Path to Better Hires: Best Practices for Employee Referral Programs” we summarize research that shows companies are increasingly relying on referrals as the best source of new hires. Referrals now typically account for 24% to as high as 75% of new hires. There is also evidence that referral new hires have a significantly higher retention rate and higher job performance than candidates from other sources.

In today’s tough economy, businesses count on their work force more than ever to provide an edge over the competition and deliver the goods or services that keep customers coming back. Just as customer retention is key to a company’s survival, so is the ability to attract and retain top performers. Hiring the wrong employee or having unfilled open positions for long periods of time can be a real setback in terms of employee productivity and morale, as well as cost the company money. This is especially pronounced at growing midsize businesses.

As former CEO of a small company, I remember all too well times when the person I hired did not work out and the subsequent pain of having to repost the job, restart the search, and sheepishly explain to my employees why they once again had to cover for the open position. Hiring the right person the first time is critical. I’ve found that the best hires are ones that come from either my network or the networks of my employees. The notion that your employees are the best source of quality candidates and that they will do the best job in selling your company is not new.

However, administering and managing an employee referral program can have its challenges. How do you inform your employees of new openings or filled positions in a timely and convenient manner? How do you entice your employees to tap into their networks? How can you identify your star referrers and ensure their access to the positions they can best help you fill? And how do you make sure your employees feel recognized and rewarded for bringing your company top talent?

The answer: – a web-based social sourcing tool. With social sourcing, you can notify employees of open positions, enable your employees to seamlessly reach into their social media networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook, track referrals back into your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and reward the star referrers in your company. For example, the average American has 634 ties in their overall network—including social media sites—and those who embrace technology have even larger networks. With web-based social sourcing, companies can easily tap into those connections.

When examining social sourcing tools, remember a complete social sourcing solution should cover all of the functionality necessary to harness the power of your employee’s social networks, as well as your company’s presence on Facebook and Twitter. By giving you the tools to create social media friendly candidate pages and seamlessly integrating them into your social media presence, your followers can easily apply for open positions right from your social sites. This is the best way to turn your fans into candidates and greatly enrich your applicant pipeline.

The real power of social sourcing comes when it is working hand-in-hand with your recruiting solution. The two working together will allow requisitions created in your ATS to, upon proper authorization, be sent out to your employees (or a subset) with a referral request for current openings. Employees can access the positions and share them with their network of friends, connections and followers. Then when a referral candidate applies, the referring employee’s information is tied to the application and tracked back in your ATS, providing closed loop reporting. Requisitions can also be pulled and integrated directly with your social media sites, enabling you to track applicants from their originating source. This empowers you with the knowledge of what kind of talent your social media presence is yielding.

While this may sound like it will require complex systems and a long arduous implementation period, it is possible to quickly and easily buy and implement an online sourcing tool. The power of the cloud helps make this possible. Cloud-based social sourcing tools typically don’t require any additional hardware or arduous software implementation, allowing for a very rapid and cost effective implementation that will have you reaping the benefits in days or weeks rather than months.

Companies are seeing real results from implementing social sourcing solutions. For example, a midsize software company quickly saw its referral candidate base jump from less than 10% to 32% of its candidate pool after implementing social sourcing. A midsize publishing company found that a candidate coming through its social sourcing solution was seven times more likely to get hired than one that came through a job board. As you can see, social sourcing solutions are truly a win-win for all parties involved: employers attract better candidates which result in better hires, employees are able to participate in the hiring process and reap recognition and rewards for being top referrers, and job seekers are able to more confidently apply for positions for which they know they will be successful.

Learn more about Oracle’s social sourcing solutions HERE.

And...post a comment to tell us about your social sourcing experiences or to ask a question

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