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Employee Referrals and AI

The struggle to find quality talent is real and is felt by recruitment and company leadership teams every single day. Simply uploading an advertisement on a job board is not a sure-fire solution for finding exceptional talent, so how do you change things up to stay one step ahead of your competition?

AI and Humans – An augmented approach to employee referrals

Employee referrals play a crucial role in building the talent pipeline for your company. Tapping into the talent that your employees are connected to, both online and in person, creates an exciting talent pipeline prospect.

And even though most people are still racing to HR technology as their “silver bullet”, the truth is that no technology solution alone is going to offer you a proven pipeline of talent.

The promising news is that the answer may well lie someone in between people and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this article, I explore how technology AND humans can work together in an augmented way, to start to produce top quality candidates for your company to consider.

Related article: Implementing an effective Employee Referral Scheme

Harness technology do the initial leg work

Even with the most rewarding employee referral program in place, your employees are unlikely to have the time, or the inclination, to study your current open roles and make connections between those vacancies and people in their networks who might be able to fill them.

So, consider this as an alternative approach. What if you used technology to do the initial grunt work. That is, use technology to scan the connections of each of your employees to see if their professional attributes and skills align with roles and skillsets your company is trying to source.

With the initial scanning, parsing and data collation complete, what if you then engaged the humans in your company for the next stage in the process?

Here’s the human component…

As an example, let’s say that you are looking to source some User Experience Designers for your company and technology allows you to determine that 10 employees in your company have 25 contacts in their networks that could potentially fit the bill.

If you then put those 25 names in front of those relevant, connected employees, they can assist you to assess the more “human” stuff about each person identified as a potential fit.

Your employees are much better placed than technology to assess whether that person:

  • Is likely to align with your company’s culture
  • Would work well with others in your team
  • Has a hard-working attitude and strong work ethic
  • Has a personality that would be complimentary to your existing team
  • Has well-honed problem-solving skills and an innovative mindset

So you see – you can use technology to do the searching, trawling and data gathering, and your employees to help you to decide who should be contacted to explore job opportunities further.  

Implications for companies looking for talented people

  • You need your employees to have comprehensive profiles on social networking sites such as LinkedIn if you plan to parse their networks with technology
  • Employees who are active online, via their social network accounts, are more likely to have formed digital connections that technology can locate, parse and cross check against role opportunities
  • Employee referral programs sometimes fall down when the process is just too hard or complex for your employees to navigate. Consider harnessing the power of technology to help with part of the referral process. Make it easier on your employees to make referrals
  • Creating a culture where everyone is accountable to creating a solid talent pipeline is a brilliant way of driving a sense of employee ownership and connection to your company
  • A professional internal communication strategy must always precede introducing any technology solution that will parse employee networks. Employees must not feel that their privacy is being violated in any way

It’s important to remember that employee referral programs are not THE answer to your recruitment and Talent Acquisition woes. They are just one part of an overall talent strategy you should be executing at any given time to ensure you maintain a diverse talent pipeline.

Further Resources and Reading – AI powered referral recruitment technology

Supercharged Referral Hiring | Episode 195 | Recruiting Future Podcast

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