Are Referrals “Really” Helping You with Candidates?

Blog / Are Referrals “Really” Helping You with Candidates?

Improve Your Hiring Strategy

There are so many ways out there to get qualified candidates for your job openings. The most traditional method is posting your openings on job sites or on your website. Even more old-school is the good ol’ classified ads. 

But another way is through referrals. Some companies use LinkedIn referrals to help them find qualified candidates while others use an employee referral program. This latter option is when you ask your employees to recommend new hires and if their suggestion is a strong fit, you reward them for their help. 

Either way, are those referrals truly helping you find the right candidate? 

These days, companies are doing more hiring than ever before and spending more money than ever before doing it. But despite all the “practice” they get at this process, they really haven’t gotten any better at it.

Referral Limit

Many employers believe that referrals produce better hires–however most companies don’t really track the results. There is no doubt that referrals can be a very powerful tool in the hiring process–if done correctly. But a lot of things have to line up and go right if it’s to truly work to your company’s advantage. 

But things don’t go right 100% of the time, do they? Cest la vie… In fact, research found that if the referrer leaves before the new hire begins, the referred candidate’s performance is not better than that of non-referrals. This is a good reason to pay out that referral bonus six months after the person is hired–if the referrer is still there. 

But a big downside to referrals is that they can lead to a homogeneous workforce. This is because the people we know tend to be like us. And diversity can really matter in the workforce. When we bring together people of different backgrounds, a company can benefit from a diversity of ideas and thoughts. We all do better when we have lots of ideas to choose from to improve our company!

So what can you do to find qualified candidates that’s more predictable and produces better outcomes?

The answer to that is by combining several elements of the hiring process. You can’t just rely on one method to hire the right people. You have to create a fail safe so that when one method doesn’t work well, you still have other ways of weeding out bad candidates.   

Keyed In

Keywords are powerful. These can tell you whether or not a candidate has the skills you are looking for. And we know that job seekers know the importance of keywords because they will add them to their resumes. But don’t just look for them in cover letters and resumes. Look for them in their LinkedIn profiles and listen for them in interviews too.

But we know that some candidates will just tell you what they know you want to hear. So, as your final fail safe, consider assessments.

Test, Test, Test 

There are a few different types of assessments you can do. The first is a hard skills test. These assess specific, teachable skills that can be easily measured. They might include proficiency in specific software or even things like coding ability. 

Another way to assess candidates is through their soft skills. This includes collaboration, communication, cross-cultural sensitivity, honesty, organization, and even confidence. The list of soft skills you can assess could literally go on and on.

Finally, the other way you can test candidates is by testing their personality. Why? To see if they are a good cultural fit. Our research shows that cultural fit and core values matter. When an employee fits into the office culture and is aligned on core values with the company, they enjoy their job more and are also more productive!

In today’s day and age, employees want more than just a paycheck. They want to feel like they are contributing to something bigger than themselves, they want personal fulfillment, and maybe even flexible work scheduling. 

Beyond this though, when an employee is happier with a company, they stick around for longer–over six years compared to less than three years to be exact. So here’s what it boils down to–a good cultural fit means that you’ll have employees who are more productive and loyal to your company for longer. 

How Can You Test for Cultural Fit?

You might be asking just how you can test personality for a job. Sure there are things out there like Myers-Briggs, but they won’t compare your company personality to job seekers, will it? With Workzinga, our proprietary algorithm combines soft skills with personality insights, helping you with two of those three assessments! 

And, our test isn’t just for job seekers, but candidates too–meaning we can help you match candidates to your company personality. We like to think of ourselves as the matchmaker for the workforce. Are you ready to swipe right on Workzinga?