HR Hacks Series: Find Quality Candidates with This Recruiting Hack
Sharlyn Lauby

By: Sharlyn Lauby on December 15th, 2015

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HR Hacks Series: Find Quality Candidates with This Recruiting Hack

Talent and Culture

Est. Read Time: 3 min.

At this year’s HR Technology Conference and Expo, I had the chance to chat with the folks from People Doc
and joined them in celebrating their latest round of funding. Our conversation focused on the future. Not just the future for People Doc but for the human resources profession. Of course, recruiting came up. The unemployment rate is at pre-Great Recession levels. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for organization to find the best talent.

Which is why we decided to write a mini-series on HR hacks.

Let’s start by defining what a “hack” is. The best definition I’ve heard for a hack is a term in computer culture that means “making things better or more efficient.” And, what organization doesn’t want that?! Now, I do need to add that sometimes “hack” is found in reference to doing something without permission, which could make some organizations uncomfortable. But we prefer to think of hack in the context of empowerment or autonomy – versus going rogue.

For this “HR Hacks” series, we want to share with you a way to make your organization better or more efficient. The goal isn’t to turn the organization upside down. It’s to take something you’re already doing one step further. For example, in this post, the focus is on sourcing quality candidates.

By now we know that one of the best ways to source candidates is via referrals. A recent article on the
LinkedIn Talent blog indicates that referred employees are:

  • Hired faster
  • At a lower cost per hire
  • Onboarded quicker, and
  • Stay with the company longer

Bottom-line, employee referrals are good business. But let’s take the traditional employee referral program one step further. Current employees do not have to be the company’s only referral source.

  • Former employee referrals – Past employees know the organization very well and could refer excellent candidates. Of course, this is predicated on companies having a good relationship with the former employee – which they should strive for anyway.

  • Candidate referrals – More organizations are using talent networks to keep candidates engaged. There’s no reason that companies cannot ask their networks to forward job openings to interested friends and family.

  • Customer referrals – Your customers know you very well. An increasing number of companies are including a “by the way, we’re hiring” on their marketing messaging. It can be crafted in such a way that it promotes how well the company is doing.


When using one (or all) of these strategies, be sure to establish a way to track the effectiveness of the campaign. HR can always ask the candidate, “How did you hear about the opening?” But you can also include unique URLs in digital campaigns to see how many people click through on your messaging. This can provide insight about what’s working and where to make future adjustments.

Adding an additional component to your existing employee referral program doesn’t have to be difficult. It does take proper planning, communication, and measuring results – which should already be happening with the company’s existing recruiting strategy. So do more of something that’s already working well and expand the company’s employee referral program.

What HR hacks are you using to find quality candidates? 

Oh, and P.S. - be on the lookout for our next HR Hacks post, which will focus on interviewing.

Read Sharlyn's post about the "Top 5 Emerging Technologies  to Transform your HR Department"
Read Sharlyn's post about the "Top 5 Emerging Technologies  to Transform your HR Department"

About Sharlyn Lauby

Sharlyn Lauby is the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc., a Florida based training and human resources consulting firm focused on helping companies retain and engage talent. Sharlyn sees human resources as a strategic partner - the marketing department for a company’s internal clients rather as administrative. During her 20+ years in the profession, she has earned a reputation for bringing business solutions to reality. Prior to starting ITM Group, Sharlyn was vice president of human resources for Right Management Consultants, one of the world’s largest organizational consulting firms. She has designed and implemented highly successful programs for employee retention, internal and external customer satisfaction, and leadership development. Publications such as Reuters, The New York Times, ABC News, TODAY, Readers Digest, Men’s Health and The Wall Street Journal have sought out her expertise on topics related to human resources and workplace issues.