361 Days til Next Black Friday: Prep with mobility & referral programs

Sofie Buckland, Senior Product Manager
November 29 ․ 12 min read

Workforce planning never takes a break. So even though we’re just coming out of the 2022 Black Friday weekend, most organizations are already prepping for 2023 seasonal hiring. (There’s no rest for talent acquisition professionals or product managers) -- especially not with the labor market continuing to flex in not-so-talent-acquisition-friendly ways. 

According to a proprietary survey by Jefferies of strategic organizations, the state of the labor market will make recruiting and retaining workers even harder, with job openings in the global economy continuing to exceed the number of unemployed in 2023. 

As a result, unfilled jobs will translate to an estimated $8.5 trillion in lost annual revenue. To stay ahead of these trends, your team must implement strategic hiring practices that put your employer brand front and center. 

Jefferies notes that respondents plan to spend more on recruiting software to solve this problem. The good news is that there are programs and talent acquisition strategies that will easily fit into your existing talent acquisition software to help you gear up for hiring challenges – like those Black Friday seasonal hiring spikes – more quickly and seamlessly than ever before. 

The two top trending hiring strategies heading into 2023: retaining and referring top talent.

Engage employees + recruit their friends

As a product manager, making your job easier (even in an unsteady labor market) is my job. I work directly with engineers and solution architects to ensure that talent acquisition technology solves your pain points and answers your automation dreams. 

My goal is to ensure that the product works in a way that empowers your teams to build relationships and get to the best quality hires faster. 

And it all boils down to hiring today and building a pipeline to hire faster tomorrow. 

Recently, those solutions have taken the form of smart, seamless programs that accelerate hiring and improve retention. Let’s break down the top referral program must-knows and must-haves and the top internal mobility program must-knows and must-haves.

Employee referral and advocacy program must-knows

The best employee referral strategies incorporate smart advocacy into the process – generating more engagement in the organization’s success and stronger referrals. 

How does a referral program work? In its simplest form, a referral program takes the following steps: 

  • Share: Employees share their referral link with the network and individuals they’d like to sponsor.

  • Apply: Using the shared link, referred contacts visit the referral site, join the talent network or apply for jobs.

  • Hire: Referred candidates progress through the selection process for one or more jobs until hired.

Track: Reports track eligible referral hires to the sponsor, so referral bonus/credit eligibility is automatically determined for recognition & reward.

The top three employee referral program end-user experience must-haves

While having seamless employee and candidate experience to fill that referral pipeline is vital, I will focus on some end-user experiences today to discuss those talent acquisition end-user goals. 

(Learn more about the experiences for all user types in our latest product tour.) 

  1. First and foremost, it should be clear if a contact is a referral. That’s why we’ve added a contact’s referral status right at the top of their profile, so it’s top of mind whenever you’re working with the contact. This enables you to provide the “friends and family” experience.

  2. The referral workflow should be automatic. In a referral workflow, you can configure actions when referred contacts sign up - perhaps a tailored welcome email to keep that sense of “you’re special” going and motivate applications. This becomes time-saving once you’ve established the baseline of communications, nudges and reminders you want to deliver.

  3. The search and filter process should be seamless. You can effortlessly search for, and filter referred contacts when you’re not actively engaged with a specific contact but are starting your review process. This also makes it straightforward to launch tailored communications with a few clicks.
    For example, you’ll have a lot of employees in your CRM, particularly if you’ve got an Internal Mobility Site. You’ll also want to close the loop with referrals by encouraging those employees to sign up as sponsors and make their first referral – you’re already showing them their career development is important to you with IMS. You add that extra layer of engagement by turning them into advocates too.

Internal mobility program must-knows 

Recruiting isn’t easy, so keep the top talent you have already attracted to your brand engaged and performing at your organization by offering talent mobility opportunities. 

In the same way, we think referred contacts deserve a “friends and family” type experience, providing an engaging internal mobility experience for employees nurtures loyalty in your brand. 

(Learn more about how 2023 hiring hinges on your ability to engage employees and recruit their friends here.)

The top three internal career sites must-haves

Your employees should have access to an internal career site that houses all their jobs. The site should integrate with your applicant tracking system, so the jobs directly populate on the site without any extra effort from your team.

What is the top three internal career site must haves? 

  • An engaging employee experience. Create a seamless employee experience through internal career sites that are branded and styled to match the look and feel of your corporate website or intranet. 
  • A seamless employee user face that promotes interaction. Push new jobs out to internal career sites first before they go live on external career sites. This will help you to build pipelines of engaged employees. Tip: host internal career sites behind your firewall with SSO authentication for employees. 
  • A robust employee search function. Create robust internal career sites with various landing pages, internal job search, job search results, job details and job application flows so that employees are able to navigate the career site easily and get through to the application they want. Tip: enable job alerts for employees so they can find jobs that meet their needs as soon as they become available. 

Want to learn more about referral and internal mobility programs?

Check out our latest on-demand product tour, where I dug into these programs in detail with Devon Butterfield, head of solutions engineering at Symphony Talent.

Explore SmashFlyX Referrals & Talent Mobility - OD(1200 × 627 px)