When it comes to finding the best and brightest talent for your organization, employers are willing to overturn just about any stone to ensure the people staffing their offices are the best fit for the job. Job postings on Internet job sites or even in newspapers are a common tool, but who better to help you seek out the candidate you need than those people already working for your company?

This is the idea behind employee referrals. Your staff members are your in-house experts on what is required to fulfill the requirements of their job, after all. Many companies offer referral programs with the aim of increasing this type of recruiting. In recent years, as technology used in HR services has evolved, so too have the tools used in referral programs.

Streamlining referrals
One of the key goals of any employee referral program should be to make the process as simple and effortless as possible. The Society for Human Resource Management cited a survey in which 74 percent of respondents claimed that the best-quality hires come from internal referrals. With this in mind, why would you not want to streamline the referral process as much as possible, so as to increase your company’s access to the best talent?

Not only are employees hired via referral of better quality in general, but they also tend to stay at their jobs longer – 46 percent are reported to remain at their position for at least three years – and it takes on average 55 percent less time to hire them. The message is clear: Employers need to prioritize their referral services.

New tools, new processes
The Internet is by far the most significant development in HR technology over the course of the past decade. In fact, sites like LinkedIn exist specifically to help connect candidates with employers. SHRM revealed that LinkedIn is taking this one step further and rolling out its new employee referral system. The program, launching November 1, will sift through users’ first-degree connections to determine who among them is a good fit for that user’s company’s open positions. LinkedIn members will then have the ability to directly connect their connections with their employers, as well as send their friends job postings via email or through the site’s messaging system.

Other online methods can achieve similar results by using platforms that already exist, most notably, social media. Employees and recruiters alike have taken to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites to sift through pools of applicants, but also to learn more about specific candidates.