5 Ways LinkedIn Referrals Will Improve the Way You Hire

November 24, 2015

Data shows that most professionals have found their job through a referral from their network. Companies, on their end, share that a considerable number of their top performing employees were hired through referrals as well. All in all, referrals are a top source of hire that any talent organization should be paying attention to.

With that in mind, here at LinkedIn we were thrilled to announce our new LinkedIn Referrals product, which launched in October. We feel that this product will change the game when it comes to how easily employees can submit referrals, and will help you hire better talent a lot faster.

As the former CEO of Careerify and now Senior Product Manager of LinkedIn Referrals, this product is my passion and I’d like to walk you through some of the important features:

1. Automatically matches open roles within your company to your employees’ network on LinkedIn

In order for employees to refer the right people to the right jobs, they need to know all of your company’s open roles and who, out of their entire network, could be a good fit. This is incredibly hard to do and correspondingly leads to a very low employee engagement with Employee Referral Programs (ERPs) – our data shows that only 18% of recruiters are satisfied with their ERP.

LinkedIn Referrals addresses this by automatically matching people in your employees’ first degree networks to relevant open roles at your company. This happens thanks to algorithms that analyze the LinkedIn profile data of your employees’ connections and then tap into your ATS data to match these potential candidates to open roles in your company.   

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Your employees have a few ways to take advantage of these matches:

  • They can visit their personal LinkedIn Referrals portal and see the matches automatically.
  • If they know a candidate they’d like to bring in, they can type in their name and all relevant jobs will appear.  
  • Or if there’s a job on their team that they’d like to help fill, they can type that in too and see who in their first degree network would be a great fit.  

And if they’re not doing any of these things, we’ll automatically send them some suggestions and encourage them to stay in the game.

2. Integrates with your ATS to put referrals in your existing workflows.

While almost every recruiter would agree that relevant employee referrals are great, most would also agree that they’re only valuable if you can efficiently move them through your recruitment process.

That’s why LinkedIn Referrals integrates with applicant tracking systems. The end result is more relevant referrals in your ATS with all necessary information to be considered an applicant in your system — “LinkedIn Referrals” automatically coded as the source, and the referrer’s information will be present as well. No new processes for your recruiters to learn, just more qualified candidates.

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3. The referrals black hole is eliminated by regular candidate status updates.

Today, employee referrals come with an unfortunate tradeoff - it’s up to recruiters to keep employees in the loop with the status of their referral, or suffer the consequences of a subpar employee experience killing employee engagement. No one wants to feel their valued referral has fallen into a ‘black hole.’

LinkedIn Referrals automatically triggers key status updates to the referring employee -- like when the candidate applies to the job, makes it to interview rounds, and accepts the job. 

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Not only is the employee in the know, they can also help the hiring along by reaching out to the candidate to answer questions prior to the interview, or say congrats when the offer is made. A win for your employees, your candidates and you.

4. Offers complete insights into the health of your employee referrals program.

For those of you with existing referrals program, you can likely attest to the fact that assessing the health, benefits and results of your program is far from quick or easy. How can you tell who’s actually engaging? What do you do if they don’t engage? After all this time and effort put into the program, what’s the actual ROI?

LinkedIn Referrals’ administrator experience makes it easy for employee referrals program managers to view the health of their program quickly by displaying employee engagement stats and the recruitment funnel — including applications, interviews, and ultimately hires from employee referrals.

Additionally, the admin functionality allows you to strategically target employees with custom engagement campaigns, and encourage them to refer, so that you not only can measure the health of your program, you can also improve it.

5. Enables you to see which candidates are connected to your employees and ask for referrals.

At the end of the day, employee referrals are about tapping into the valuable pool of talent that is connected to your company. We call that your Company Connection pool. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way for recruiters to proactively search through this talent pool today.

That’s why the LinkedIn Referrals solution includes enhancements to LinkedIn Recruiter licenses at your company to make it easy for recruiters to not only filter to see their Company Connections pool in searches, but also strategically ask fellow employees for referrals.

And the returns are large — on average, people in your Company Connections pool are 46% more likely to reply to InMails. For those especially hard to fill roles, you can now see who at your company knows your desired candidate profile and ask for a referral.

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These features are just a few of the reasons LinkedIn Referrals is the only solution that can keep employees engaged and help you hire more quality talent, faster. LinkedIn Referrals is currently in an initial launch phase and available to select companies on supported ATSs.

To learn more about the product and see our list of ATS partners, visit the LinkedIn Referrals homepage.

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