The coronavirus crunch has cost millions their jobs, and it could be a long time before everything is back to business as usual. The good news is that some businesses are still hiring, and the tech giants in the Bay Area are likely at the top of many applicants’ lists. These companies typically rely on the same job boards for recruiting, including Github, StackOverflow, and AngelList, but a few are breaking the mold and tapping into another source — their current employees.
Lots of organizations passively encourage their employees to make referrals, but Salesforce is taking things a step further. A spokeperson for the largest private company in the Bay Area recently announced that it would prioritize hiring the friends and family members of existing employees if the candidates had lost their previous jobs due to the global pandemic. Using the #workingtogether hashtag, Salesforce aims to fill 2,200 open positions and put its own broader community back to work.
The race for talent
Although the Salesforce hiring initiative is based on helping people whose lives have been disrupted, referrals aren’t only a solid play during a pandemic. Businesses are competing for talent just as much as they’re competing for customers, and traditional hiring pipelines tend to fall short. Particularly in San Francisco’s tech scene, where the density of well-funded companies has created a compensation arms race, the most attractive candidates have often signed agreements before they’ve even crossed a stage and gotten a diploma.
In this environment, posting an open position to a hiring board isn’t enough — especially when there’s a way you can get promising candidates to come to you first. Instead of making major investments in headhunters or recruiting firms, lean on your employees instead.
Flexing your networks
Networks didn’t just build Silicon Valley — they’re a key part of any ecosystem where businesses flourish. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money assembling them, because they’re already available. According to data from the Pew Research Center, almost 70% of adults in the U.S. use Facebook, and each person has an average of 338 friends. If your 100 employees post about your vacant position, you’re reaching an audience of around 23,000. That’s before you consider the ripple effect, with compounds your reach even further. While the number of LinkedIn users is much smaller at 675 million worldwide, just 3 million of those users post content on a weekly basis, meaning the platform is ripe with opportunity.
Your company can establish its own social media presence, but users are five times more likely to engage with each other than a brand. By providing your employees with exciting referral incentives and getting them to put your company’s openings and opportunities in front of their networks, you can reach a massive audience and achieve an incredible return on your investment.