There’s an increasing number of workers who are miserable and hopelessly suffering because their ability is placed at poor-fit. In the United States alone worker satisfaction is at an all-time low where 70% are not engaged at work according to Gallup. Even 72% of workers with a degree report that they do not have an ideal job for them. Gallup estimates that within the U.S. workforce, this cost between $450 and $550 billion in lost productivity alone. Besides those economic costs, what also matters are the costs of lost joy and happiness in people’s lives outside of work.
Clearly, the Gallup research shows that staffing and headhunting firms do not service the market deeply and broadly enough. The human capital service industry is in need of a scalable solution to which the general population can have affordable access.
If you have a recruiting or placement decision that is important enough, you need help from another human being! The best help you could ever receive is from a person who is experienced, reputable, and who relies on relevant data to refer, coach, or agency to help you make that decision. There’s just no substitute for the advice and counsel of a credible and trusted human being who is motivated to look out for your best interest.
So, you need to use technology to save time identifying that person because speed is critical to gaining an advantage in a competitive selection process. This is to say, technology that reduces friction in the recruiting or placement process is critical to your success. Friction is everything that slows down making better decisions quicker. Examples of friction include voice mail, phone tag, travel, lack of information, etc. And then there’s email which, when you consider the necessary communications involved to make a great decision, is the worst collaboration tool ever used on a wide scale!
So, what can you do today? Start building a relationship with a likable and trusted individual in your industry. Someone already embedded in the talent-based community who can be your advocate. Someone who can close a deal because they are experienced, likable, and credible! If you can’t find that person then perhaps you should consider branding yourself as that “go to” person to help others who are in your position. The opportunity to do well by doing good is tremendous in the human capital service ecosystem in this day and age.
What do you think? Do you think the general population is need of an easy way to use dedicated personal facilitation to help get what they want?
Over time, external referral programs (XRP) will outperform employee referral programs (ERP). And that’s simply because XRPs have two distinct advantages:
Let’s examine these two reasons;
Intuitively, having a formal employee referral program (ERP) seems to makes sense. After all, who is more equipped to refer great people—and sell those people on why they should work in an organization—than passionate members of an organization? However, employees, by definition, are not able to operate as a ‘third-party facilitator’. They can’t be objective enough. This creates a “trade-off” dilemma in the mind of the employee that causes him to consider the risk and rewards of referring “wrongly” that is harder to overcome versus an external referrer.
That’s right. A motivated and confident external referrer will use the trust and credibility they have built with employers and workers to convince them to make a commitment. Even if it appears on paper that there isn’t a best-fit. An external referrer program (XRP) leverages a feedback system that makes referring reputation transparent. Prodding for a commitment and being motivated to strengthen reputation are advantages that external referrers have over employee referrers.
External referrers have a higher chance of interacting with others at the relevant edges of recruiting. They are able to reach out and connect into the rich referral flows which provides them with an information arbitrage of sorts that they can use to connect opportunity with ability that might not be obvious to employee referrers. This advantage puts the company in the best position to grow with diverse talent and be more adaptive as a result.
Don’t get me wrong. An ERP for the most part is a good idea. This post is not about beating up on them. And it is true that the vast majority of external referrers do none of the things that it takes to place ability at best-fit. But transparency weeds them out. The good ones rise to the top and bring their domain experience, tacit knowledge, and motivations to bear on processes to gain commitments at best-fit.
Ultimately utilizing an XRP will get a company closer to best-fit candidates by separating themselves from the herd. Where ERPs are structured around organizational “strong” ties via employees, XRPs open up opportunities to support encounters with “weak” ties via referrers outside of the organization and discover talent outside the reach of an ERP. This increases the likelihood of attracting talent with access to new insights, experiences, and capabilities. Over time, many of these edge connections become part of a core network, in the process transforming that core in deep yet unexpected ways to adapt in fast-changing business environments.
Has anyone heard of an external referrer program (XRP) or something similar before reading this?