Depending on personality, some people are overtly eager to tell everyone about their experiences good and bad in detail, some on the other hand are more conservative and keep themselves to themselves, bordering on secretive unless asked. Similarly, some business cultures actively promote people to voice opinions and speak openly, encouraging feedback and advocacy. Others would rather not hear what their employees are thinking or feeling and bury their heads in the sand.
I was approached recently by someone in my network and asked how much I would pay them to recommend our services. I didn’t have to think too long as I strongly feel recommendations should not be paid for there is no suitable price tag. It’s surely a more genuine and heartfelt recommendation if money does not exchange hands. Wanting to share a good experience openly with others will be much more rewarding than a voucher.
It can be hard to differentiate in recruitment as with other service industries and will generally boil down to the individual you have dealt with and the way you are treated i.e. the ‘customer experience’ rather than the outcome itself;
- How did you feel when you were first approached, did the recruiter display confident knowledge of the role and the business?
- Did they ask relevant and intelligent questions to qualify whether there was a potential fit?
- Were your expectations managed and feedback given?
- Were you supported sufficiently giving you the best possible chance of being successful? Would you feel comfortable recommending them to a colleague?
Over the years I have extended many a sincere ‘Thank-You’ to people for recommending me and my business, without their kind words the business would have taken longer to become established and their loyalty speaks volumes. Why do they do this? Quite simply because they want to, they have been happy with the service they received, and the way were treated during the process. They felt confident enough to recommend me to others knowing I will do the same for them, no strings attached, and no money passing hands. Even if they were not successful in securing the role, this was not the ultimate measure.
Recommendations are now more than ever actively sought and promoted on LinkedIn, it isn’t as crass as you may think and if you have been ‘recommendation shy’ up to now then I urge you to give it a go. Most people are happy to give positive feedback if they truly believe it is worthy and it can be a real boost when you receive it by way of confirmation that you are providing a valued service.
By creating a ‘recommendation mentality’ within your existing employee population, you can build a powerful source of advocates for your business that will undoubtedly improve your employer brand. Most of us will seek ‘inside information’ when we conduct our due diligence, digging beneath the surface and beyond the corporate website before making our decision. The most trusted voices to prospective employees are current employees and genuine recommendations will go a long way in opening the number of candidates available to you and improve the employee journey from the outset.