5 reasons employee referral will be critical to recovery post COVID-19

Employee Referral for Economic Recovery

We’re in the midst of an unprecedented time in global history.  Every country has reacted differently to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting impact on local economies and the global landscape is yet to be fully understood. 

In the shadow of global economic turmoil modern businesses are once again faced with the challenge of streamlining costs; relying more heavily than ever before on technology to run their business and of course recruitment freezes are widespread across a large number of industries (though as ever some industries continue to succeed and even thrive on the back of this situation). 

Employee referral as a part of a business’ talent acquisition strategy has always been a cost effective and impactful tactic for recruiting high quality candidates with higher engagement and lower attrition rates. 

According to a study run in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis: ‘Employee referral schemes are the best talent acquisition strategy during economic uncertainty’ 

When businesses are attempting to reduce costs and improve efficiency, from a recruitment perspective employee referral when done well is a quicker and cheaper alternative to other recruitment methods.  This makes it an important part of business recovery as we all take the first steps towards some sort of normality, BAU and future growth. 

In this context we’re talking about fully automated employee referral platforms that import all employee’s social connections from a variety of platforms.  Using gamification and competition to engage employees. Implementing micro rewards to keep them active throughout the recruitment process and two way communication so TA teams can proactively suggest referral candidates, as well as employees putting candidates forward.

5 ways effective employee referral will help support business recovery

1.  Reducing the cost of recruitment  
Employee referral is one of the most cost effective recruitment methods.  Especially when a lot of businesses find that large monetary rewards aren’t as motivating for employees as smaller, incremental less expensive rewards.  For example, we’ve seen much higher engagement with referral through £50-£250 Amazon vouchers, distributed at different stages of the candidate journey than a £5000 reward for a hire at the end of the process.  It also allows you to avoid hefty agency fees and streamline your recruitment budget which will be a critical part of keeping your business lean and prepared for recovery.

2. Keeping talent acquisition and employees engaged and connected
Employee engagement has been a significant challenge for most organisations during COVID-19.  Maintaining a high quality talent pipeline and keeping employees connected with each other, as well as talent acquisition teams connected to the business can be enabled through the use of automated employee referral systems; internal competitions and social sharing. 

3. Fundamental shift to online 
With enforced home working, businesses who perhaps hadn’t implemented flexible and remote working practices have been forced to.  Relying on technology to communicate and get things done has rapidly become the new norm.  It’s likely that investing in new technology like automated employee referral will now be a lot more effective than pre-COVID as reliance on digital technology is far more widespread and accepted by employers and employees alike.

4. Talent overflow as a result of furlough and redundancy 
There’s no two ways about it, there’s going to be a significant spike in unemployment as life begins to return to normal.  This will mean a huge influx of talent into the market place at the same time.  According to the CIPD, for many organisations placing staff on furlough redundancy is likely to be a very real consideration; if not in the immediate term, then potentially whilst staff are on furlough or when the furlough scheme comes to an end on 30 June 2020.  Beyond furlough this will mean a higher volume of applicants for every role advertised, far more time consuming for TA teams.  Using employee referral may reduce the volume and increase the quality of applications.

5. High levels of competition for great talent
If you’re fortunate enough to operate in one of the few sectors that will either thrive or be relatively unaffected by Coronavirus, competition for great talent in those sectors will remain high, if not increase as demand for the product or service continues to grow.  Within your market place, it’s likely you’ve always faced a competitive hiring environment, but if demand for those skills spikes, adding employee referral to your recruitment armoury will set you apart from the competition, giving you access to a totally unique talent pool. 

If you think automated employee referral will help support your business with recovery, why not book a Real Links demo today and find out more.  We also offer low cost pilot schemes for up to 100 employees if you’d like to try before you commit.

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