Shaken, Not Stirred

social-media-networks-recruiting[1]Faith Technologies is currently in a state of growth that we have never experienced before. For many of us, this can be exciting, intimidating, challenging, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. How we react to this change, though, is our choice. According to statistics cited by Ben Sherwood in his book The Survivor’s Club, people respond to change in one of the three following ways. Ten percent of us respond to change like James Bond by being calm, focused, and action-oriented. Ten percent of us respond to change like the Three Stooges (no explanation needed on this one). You are asking yourself – what does the remaining 80 percent of us do? Well, according to Sherwood, the remaining 80 percent of us do nothing and wait it out.

For me, the most intimidating part of Faith’s growth, is realizing that our biggest limitation is finding the most qualified candidates for the positions we have available now, as well as those opportunities on the horizon. We currently have over 800 open positions at Faith Technologies – and this number is anticipated to grow over the next several months. However, having staffing needs that are so large is not unique just to Faith. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that one of the reasons employers are having a tough time filling employment vacancies was lack of experience. Knowing this, we took a comprehensive view of our situation, put on our James Bond tuxedos, and came up with a plan.

There are several facets to our workforce staffing plan; however, a significant piece of it involves our employee referral program. We have long had a referral program knowing that successful programs are a gold mine of qualified candidates. After all, who knows the type of people that a company needs better than the successful employees who work there? Additionally, the cost-to-hire these candidates is substantially lower than the traditional job-posting routes, the quality of hire can’t be beat, and the retention of hires that are employee referrals is the highest of all the various sourcing avenues (click here for interesting data on this).

We have recently revised our employee referral program to make it even more attractive. Not only does our program have a compensation-related component, it also has a mentoring component. The mentoring aspect helps with that pesky problem I mentioned earlier of candidates and new hires having a lack of experience and not feeling engaged. If a new hire has a mentor in the company who can be their direct life line for work-related questions, the employee feels like a team member and thus has a more meaningful work relationship. Over the past year, 43% of our new hires have been referred to us through our employee referral program and we want that number to continue to grow. Our human capital is something that sets us apart from our competitors, and this referral program helps us fine tune this competitive advantage.

It is very easy to stick your head in the sand and act like change is not happening. However, things must change in order to evolve. By viewing all the current and upcoming changes as an opportunity, not something to be scared of, we are very realistic and action-oriented in how we choose to respond to these opportunities, knowing that our plan will need to flex along the way. I am proud to say that we view this challenge as one of the 10% that are like James Bond – shaken, not stirred.