Raising money for a project or a startup? Check. Gathering feedback on a new initiative? Check. Testing software for bugs? Check. Using distributed photographs to map the galaxy? Yes. Recruiting? Absolutely.
You can “crowdsource” just about anything these days. Social media has made it easy to reach a broad audience and if you are a recruiter working for a mid to large size company, you need look no further then your internal “crowd”, or employee base, to help you achieve your recruiting and hiring goals.
Your company is loosely doing this already – it’s called your employee referral program – but at best, it’s likely an ad-hoc program where employees receive a few email reminders every now and again about positions you need help recruiting for.
Here’s how you can start tapping into the wisdom of the crowd to jumpstart your crowdsourced recruiting efforts:
1. Engage with your target audience
If your company uses a social collaboration solution like Yammer, this would be the perfect environment to leverage for engagement. If not, email can work too, or even a Google Spreadsheet. Establish a dedicated environment that employees can follow and use this channel to distribute relevant content around your campaign.
Examples would be:
- Sharing successes (i.e. Mike Smith’s referral for our Sales Manager role was just hired – congrats Mike!)
- Providing recruiting tips – what to post on social media sites like LinkedIn, for example
- Hot Jobs – provide links to the jobs you need the most help recruiting on with a general overview of the role and who it reports to
Sending marketing emails reminding your employees to help recruit isn’t enough – create compelling content to engage with your audience for maximum results.
2. Capture Influencer Attention
Like any successful crowdfunding campaign, a few key “influencers” can help move your campaign along in a big way.
Who are the most influential people in your organization? Likely members of your executive team to start with. Ask for their help in promoting your recruiting campaign – an email from a VP or C-level executive sent directly to employees asking for help can go a long way.
Identify your influencers and activate them to help promote your campaign in creative ways inside your organization.
It goes without saying, but the most successful crowdsourced campaigns offer unique incentives for user engagement. Examples would be the tiered gifts offered for fundraising campaigns on Kickstarter (a t-shirt for a $25 donation, for example).
Be creative with your incentives and publicize them. Instead of focusing only on a referral bonus for a successful hired referral, offer incentives for participation, perhaps a $25 Amazon or Starbucks gift card for any interview loop achieved by a referred candidate.
Consider offering “lunch with the boss” to any employee who’s referral is successfully hired. Ask the employee to promote their experience at this lunch across the program to help raise awareness.
4. Provide updates
It’s one thing to ask for help and receive it – it then falls on you as the campaign manager to keep your participants updated on the status of their efforts as it relates to your campaign.
If an employee makes a referral for a job, be sure to proactively update the employee on the status of their referral as they make their way through your interview loops.
Publicly share the status of all positions that have been filled via referrals. As Kickstarter clearly publishes a goal and progress towards that goal for any campaign published on their site, do the same with your recruiting campaign – for example, you may have a goal of 50 candidate referrals. Each time you receive one, update a goal progress report as you move towards successfully achieving your goal.
There’s no better time then today to start thinking creatively about how you are approaching your talent acquisition strategy. Crowdsourcing is common practice and we’re all exposed to it in one way or another – leverage this trend and apply it to your recruiting efforts to dramatically increase your flow of candidates and time-to-fill ratios.