Thursday, November 11, 2010

Linkedin Employee Referral engine- an ethical issue?

An employee referral engine from a big social network has finally landed.

Why a referral engine?

The most prominent challenge in employee referral is that mostly it will happen through chance encounters. Not many or in most case not any employee will proactively find friends or associates who fit the job opening. For an employee referral to happen following have to prudentially happen together

1) Know someone who is looking for a job
2) The job seeker says that he is looking out
3) The referee remembers that a matching job exists

Thence I call employee referrals as a result of chance encounters.
If something could eliminate the chance aspect of the encounter, the referral volume will multiply exponentially and as the LinkedIn tool puts it “turn all of your employees into powerful sourcing agents.”

Ethical challenge

No doubt it will be a big boost to sourcing, but there is a challenge, can call it a moral, or ethical challenge.

Employee Referrals are people referred and is it right to refer someone you don’t know well enough? Would you recommend someone for a job if you can’t vouch for him? Have we taken the willingness of the employee for granted? Is referral about getting more reliable and productive candidates, aloowing the employee to select his colleagues and other jazz about traditional referrals or is it just another sourcing channel.

One argument is that we are just tapping into the first level network of the candidate, but in today’s world of online networking, how well do we know our first level connections?

Would love to see how Linkedin deals with this issue and how the ground rules of employee referrals change

Related posts
Social Media Optimisation in recruitment- Employee referrals

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