By Stephanie Gillett, PHR, HR Business Partner, Trupp HR.
Are you screening employee referrals adequately?
Do you find yourself extending special treatment to job applicants who have been referred by your employees?
Sure, you make them fill out an application and do an interview, but it's easy to bypass important qualifying questions. Without even realizing it, you could be making assumptions about their character based on the employee that referred them.
While it may improve morale and often works to your advantage to hire a candidate that is referred by a current employee, it is still extremely important that you put them through the same screening process you would with other applicants.
Reasons to qualify employee referrals
DETERMINE FIT They may not be the most qualified candidate for the job; in fact they may not be qualified at all. This creates a large learning curve for the employee and increases the cost of getting them up and running.
UNCOVER SKILLS GAPS Even if they turn out to be the most qualified candidate for the job, the interview process helps identify skills gaps so that you know where to focus training efforts after they have been hired.
DISCOVER COMMITMENT LEVEL They may not even want the job but felt pressure to apply from a friend or family member. They may feel safer telling you this in the interview process.
MINIMIZE EXPOSURE You demonstrate that your interviewing and selection process is fair and provide a paper trail to avoid potential discrimination claims.
Having an Employee Referral Program in place is a great way to save on hiring costs, increase employee productivity and loyalty, and will ultimately result in less turnover, however it is extremely important to make sure that the recruitment process remains the same for all candidates that apply.