Amit Das

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A dream job may be just a ‘forward’ away

A dream job may be just a ‘forward’ away

Corporates drive referral programmes on social media.


Originally published in The Hindu by Liffy Thomas


Don’t be surprised if you receive a job offer on WhatsApp — a real job offer.


There is no novelty about companies getting their employees to don the additional role of recruiters. Job referral programmes have become extremely common.


What is spanking-new is that corporates have found a convenient, well-connected venue to run these programmes — it is called social media.


There are two levels in which they usually do this: At the most basic level, they get employees to share details about vacancies in their social media groups.


The next level involves the engagement of professional agencies that can drive referral programmes on behalf of corporates.


While encouraging their employees to function as “recruiters”, some corporates equip them for the task by providing them with shareable multi-media about the jobs. Any such material is likely to have the company’s logo.


However, a majority of the corporates keep it brief, by providing details about the job in a simple format, and along with a contact person to connect with.


Last year, when ICICI Prudential Life Insurance wanted to hire a unit manager for its Kerala region, it sought professional help to promote referral hiring via WhatsApp.


Ferns N Petals, a flowers and gifting company, has been using LinkedIn, Facebook and WhatsApp, in that order, to tap talent.


Without attaching any incentive for its referral programme, the company has 33% of hiring done through referrals, says Nishant Madhukar, HR Head, Ferns N Petals.


At an IT services company, employee referral programmes are becoming more digital-driven.


This year, for instance, the company is targeting its employees’ WhatsApp network to extend the reach.


In some cases, referral programmes are promoted by companies among select employees, via social media.


The company identifies active employees who bring them referrals, which is driven through internal WhatsApp groups.


One of the main advantages of using WhatsApp as a medium has to do with the fact that it is more personalised communication.

Sudarsan Ravi, founder and CEO of RippleHire, an employee referral product, says companies have been accelerating the referral process through social media, and WhatsApp, in particular.


The talent you are looking for may be concentrated in your WhatsApp groups.


For example, if you are an IIT alumnus, your WhatsApp group with other alumni group may be a good source to tap for the required talent, says Ravi, adding that “employees are helping build talent among passive candidates.”


However, there are recruitment professionals who think using social media as a recruiting tool in this manner, can be akin to punching in the air, especially if the information is not shared right.


There can be so many other messages, of a different nature, that would be competing with the “job postings”.


However, most recruitment professionals believe this can be a quick way to reach prospective candidates, provided the choice of group where it is shared is well thought-out.


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