October 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment


Fundamentally, employee referral programs and social media both rely on one key phenomenon: networking. To participate in an ERP (Employee Referral Program) you need to “know” people. To participate in social media you need to “reach out” to get to know people. It’s no wonder that ERPs and social media are increasingly working together to find and attract top talent.

Online Job-sharing Start-ups

jobviteERP’s and social media began melding through online tools such as Jobvite andCachinko. These sites allow users to distribute and track job posts across their online networks. With just a few clicks you can send out a job post to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn groups.

If you have a job you would like to get out to your online network contacts, but not every one of them, Jobvite allows you to create multiple links to a job post, name them to best suit your needs, and then send links to prospects who are a match.

You can screen your contacts for right matches yourself, but for tools like LinkedIn and Facebook, Jobvite will do the screening for you. It matches the job location, title and keywords to the profiles of your friends, followers and contacts.

Targeted and matching keywords are crucial for this to work. Jobvite isn’t clairvoyant. If your job post isn’t descriptive or your contacts have limited profile information, matches won’t happen.

Jobvite’s status update feature also allows you to track views, clicks and applications through its dashboard. The analytics are great, since you can see what networks and types of job descriptions produce the best response (Source of Hire Metrics!).

Cachinko is an employee referral system, online job list, and online network all in one. It allows users to sign up, network, share jobs and build a professional community. Cachinko is buzzworthy because it enables the payment of referral rewards through PayPal and has a referral tracking system.

Online ERPs in Full Force

referrioReferrio is quietly entering the online job search niche, but it is entirely focused on employee referral programs via the Internet, rather than online job-sharing in general.

It works similar to a job board, but it lists referral opportunities instead of standard job opportunities. For example, Cisco lists 11 jobs on the site and is offering $2,500 per job to people who fill the openings through their social media networks or emails. Anyone can visit the site, search job openings in their field, make recommendations for potential candidates and collect rewards for successful fills.

Widgets for the Workforce

Another new form of online ERPs uses widgets. Widgets are mini applications that allow users to regularly feed updated content through social networking sites, blogs, desktops and personal websites. They typically appear as small windows of specific information, in this case company job opportunities.

Companies are now providing employees with a “grab this widget” tool for sharing current job openings. Employees can place the widget on their Facebook, LinkedIn and other personal web pages to announce company jobs to visitors and contacts. Employees are then rewarded if a widget from their page results in a hire.

More online ERP systems and tools are in the works. The corporate alumni network specialist SelectMindsis working on a product that will tie ERPs through a series of email links and online networks. The chain of link-forwarding will be tracked as it moves around the Internet, and one employee either gets the entire referral reward, or it is shared among several chain participants.

Employee referral programs have a strong track record for producing and retaining the best hires. But asking your employees who are the three people they know for an open position is just the start. The most successful employee referral programs are what they say they are: well planned and managed programs, not a question that is simply thrown out there.  Happy referring!


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4 Steps to Boost Employee Referrals with Social Media [HOW-TO] How to get great staff with social media influencers and employee referral programs

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