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Why Your Employee Referral Program Sucks Without Mobile

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As a recruiter, you likely receive hundreds of applications per job opening. To increase the quality of the leads in this equation, you probably use an employee referral program. After all, hires from referrals produce 25 percent more profit and are 20 percent less likely to quit their jobs. But, with 30 million Americans now working remotely at least one day a week, it can be hard for you to optimize your referral program if it doesn't have mobile capabilities. For a growing number of people, if your employee referral program (not to mention your recruitment overall) isn't mobile, it just doesn't exist.

So, why are so many employers failing to bridge this recruitment gap by not implementing mobile hiring strategies, especially when it comes to employee referral programs? Since mobile capabilities streamline the way you live -- especially when you want information quickly and easily -- it only makes sense to apply the same concepts to your hiring strategy, particularly your employee referral program.

Although mobile is a relatively new recruitment strategy, your employee referral program will suffer if you fail to integrate its capabilities. Here are some common problems:

Your career site isn't mobile

Career sites are the No. 1 source of influence on referrals and referrals are the No. 1 source of hire. In addition, career sites are the largest influencer on referrals, as well as being one of the top ways candidates find jobs. So, if your career site isn't mobile, you're losing about 25-35 percent of qualified applicants since many search and later apply to a job through their smartphones or tablets.

Quick fix: Make it easy for candidates to apply for a job through their mobile devices. Whether you have a company app, mobile-ready career site, or navigate your applicants to a location where they can apply mobily, doing so will ensure you receive better candidates.

Your employees can't refer on-the-go

By 2015, the mobile workforce will reach 1.3 billion. This includes those who telecommute as well as those who work remotely. So, let's assume they use their mobile devices to complete necessary job duties, one of which is referring the best candidates for job openings. However, if you don't have mobile capabilities, they may not be able to refer qualified candidates to you in the most efficient way.

Quick fix: Setup an application or a portal that's catered completely to your mobile workforce and their devices. This will help them to access your referral program while they're telecommuting, working out of the office, or just want a simple way to send a lead to you.

You don't make things easy for your external network

Here's the thing: An employee referral program isn't limited to just your internal network. You can open it up to your former employees, business partners, and vendors. However, they're doing you a favor when they refer your candidates. That is, it's not their 'job' to do so. You need to streamline the process as much as possible so, if they're on-the-go and need to send you a lead efficiently, they can use their mobile devices to make it happen.

Quick fix: Don't shut your external network out! Invite them into your mobile-ready employee referral program so they can see job openings, company information, how to refer socially, and additional best practices. In addition, they can also be part of your rewards program, which gives them an extra incentive when referring quality candidates. This not only ensures they'll be able to refer using their mobile devices, but also they can do so in the best way possible.

Employee referral programs are a necessary ingredient to finding the best employees. Be sure you enhance this recruitment strategy by implementing mobile-friendly practices to get the best of both worlds.

What do you think? What are some other reasons why employee referral programs suck without mobile?

Ziv Eliraz is the Founder and CEO of Zao, social employee referral management platform. Connect with Ziv and Zao on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.