When it comes to recruiting top talent for your company, you may be overlooking one important resources: your employees.

Teaching ‘recruiting behavior’ to your employees

When it comes to recruiting top talent for your company, you may be overlooking one important resources: your employees. 

In many instances, employees can inspire greater trust from job-searchers. For example, employees are trusted 16 points more than CEOs on messaging around employee/customer relations, according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer.

This is because of the perceived sense of authenticity. As LinkedIn noted, your employees likely provide the most realistic impression of what it's like to work at your organization.

"When your employees share content about where they work and what they do, it's far more engaging than when it comes from your company alone," the guide explained. 

And though employee advocacy may happen naturally, it can be much stronger when managers and HR professionals teach "recruiting behavior."

"Recruiting is a behavior that needs to be taught and learned by your employees," said Andrea Bucci, recruiting manager at Gateway Engineers, in an interview with Entrepreneur magazine. 

Here are three ways you can teach recruiting behavior at your company:

1. Involve employees in the interview process 
One common reason why seemingly strong hires turn sour is because they fail to mesh with company culture. Job candidates may have an impressive resume, but if their personalities and soft skills clash with their colleagues and the office environment, they're not likely to be successful employees. As human resources expert Susan Heathfield noted in an article for The Balance, employees may be the best judges of whether applicants will fit in with the culture. Employees are also the ones who will be working directly with the candidates if they are hired. 

Heathfield recommended you include an employee selection team in your candidate interviews. Having employees share their thoughts on the interviewees and ask their own questions helps inform hiring decisions with a greater chance of long-term success. 

2. Incentivize referrals
Your company may already have an employee referral plan, but is it as enticing as it could be? Though it may seem steep to offer a hefty financial reward for successful employee referrals, the potential benefits offset the risks. Consider that the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire can cost a company an average of 30 percent of that employee's first-year salary. Then think about how a great hire can create a "performance differential" that can generate sizeable revenue for your company, as ERE explained. A sizeable financial reward for successful employee referrals is a small price to pay for the potential benefits. 

In addition to financially incentivizing referrals, companies should also make the process as easy as possible. Provide clear, easy-to-understand steps for the referral process with all appropriate links and contact information. Having an email script or template for social media posts can also help streamline the process. 

Entrepreneur notes that it's important to also eliminate the penalties that are associated with a referral that doesn't end up working out. Fearing negative impacts can sway employees from making recommendations and cause you to miss out on top talent; so instead, emphasize that employees will not be personally held accountable or make referral anonymous. 

"You'll likely get better referrals if your employees know more details about your company's hiring needs."

3. Keep employees updated 
You'll likely get better referrals if your employees know more details about your company's hiring needs. Monster recommends holding weekly meetings to update your employees about any current job openings. If you have remote workers, you can share this information via video conferences. Not only will this approach help inspire employees to find good candidates for jobs in their departments, but it also creates a sense of transparency and fairness. By being open about and involving employees in the hiring process, you show them the company values their opinions, and they'll worry less about their jobs being encroached upon behind-the-scenes. 

In these meetings, encourage employees to share vacancies on social media, in their personal lives and at industry events. Your workers' professional and social networks are valuable recruitment channels, so make sure you mine them. 

Teaching recruiting behavior at your company involves creating a culture of transparency and employee involvement. By having workers take on a larger role in spreading the word and vetting candidates, you can improve the retention of top talent.