How to increase the number of friends in the company

    About a third of our employees are friends or relatives of those who already worked for the company at the time of their employment. Moreover, it was they who brought them to Only here, there’s no talk of “nepotism” - our employees are always happy to recommend to their friends (and tell friends about the HR department). I’ll tell you how to achieve the same results and why it is good for any company.

    Just numbers

    Now in about 30 percent of the employees who came on the recommendation of one of us. For example, in 2017, out of 89 newcomers, 34 were someone's friends or relatives.

    Several employees have already recommended to us two or more of their friends who successfully fit into the team. In a month we (HR department) receive at least one recommendation from colleagues.

    I must say right away: we do not financially encourage recommendations, although this is a common practice in many companies. We have a fundamentally different motivation system.

    How it all began

    In 2003, our travel service was organized by student friends. The first time, of course, friends worked here, and their friends and friends of friends often became new employees, everything grew thanks to word of mouth. Over time, the development of the product required more and more interested in the development of the service, they were also searched among friends and acquaintances. The culture of recommending good people to a company has scaled up, as has the size of the company itself.

    How the recommendation system works today

    Almost a year ago, we organized a project called “Day with Fire”: we formalized the recommendations of friends in the internal system. Now you don’t need to “walk” in the HR department and tell what a great friend you have - you can do it online.

    If the recommended one turns out to be a cool employee for the company, the one who recommended it will take part in a win-win lottery and get some interesting prize for his entire team. For example, a trip with colleagues to any quest in reality, or design circles for everyone with whom he works on a product. There are certificates and not so creative, but tasty - for pizza or donuts. They will also give a bright sticker with the inscription "Burn in Tutu."

    What motivates to call your friends (and wife) in

    What motivates employees to recommend friends? Definitely not a lottery. It is more a consequence, not a cause. Employees always recommended their friends, and the HR department decided that it would be cool to encourage these recommendations.

    Our people recommend the company to friends because they like our common cause, the tasks that they face, the atmosphere in the team and the working conditions. And they are happy to bring all this to the life of their friends, so that with their help they can make better. And also because it is possible to recommend. No one will look askance if you ask to see the resume of a sister or best friend. And no one will say about a newcomer that if he came by recommendation, it means by pull - the selection process itself is the same for everyone.

    It was the case that a new employee came to us, and then slowly over the next six months he brought along a whole small team. Each time he came and said, “I have a friend here for our tasks, sort of cool, let's take it,” then the person came to the meeting - really cool, and that’s how our team + 4 enthusiastic people appeared.

    We always communicate with any candidate by phone and hold 2-3 meetings with different specialists (HR manager, team leader or senior specialist in the team, leader), sometimes after a telephone conversation we may ask to complete a test task. We evaluate the results of each communication, based on our principles and standards - it is important for us that the people in the company are team, responsive, support the result and love the client.

    Why working with friends is awesome

    Because the level of trust in the team is becoming higher - each one's friend is more than a colleague. You can discuss the most daring ideas with others, from which the cool features that we create for our customers are often born.

    What are the limitations

    In fact, when a friend can call a friend for work, and a wife can recommend her husband’s colleagues without restrictions, alas, it is impossible. Although they are quite logical and aloud they may not be voiced

    • people should not be subordinate to each other or have the ability to influence the relationship of their friend with his leader.
    • you need to be objective in the recommendations: there is a saying that “a good person is not a profession”, and we adhere to this principle. The person who is recommended must meet the primary criteria established for the vacancy: work experience, the presence of certain skills, interest in a particular field of activity, motivation.

    Once, our colleague recommended that his classmate respond to our job as an analyst, but we refused her after one of the interviews. Almost a year later, the same colleague recommended that the same classmate again apply for the same vacancy (even in the same product team and the same recruiter) again - and we took it. People change.

    And now the instruction

    If employees are dissatisfied with work in your company, they are not satisfied with relations with the management, salary, daily routine or something else - the recommendation system will not work (thanks, cap). For everything else, there is a fairly simple algorithm:

    1. Create a friendly atmosphere in the team: give people the opportunity to share ideas, questions, mistakes - feeling in the team, as if in a circle of friends, I want to bring my other friends into it.
    2. Carry people with tasks, then they will talk about work so that acquaintances themselves will begin to ask them to find a place in the company.
    3. Tell people that recommending is great: give examples, make the recommendation process part of the culture, collect success stories - for example, we have employees that someone once recommended, and then they went a steep development path in the company (and, of course, themselves recommended someone).
    4. Tell about open vacancies to employees and turn to them for help, not only wait for the initiative, but also show it yourself.

    Underwater rocks

    Once, a colleague recommended to us a friend who was very interested in working in All interviews were successful, and in the end they made an offer, and he refused it. We still did not understand the reasons (we did not voice them, no matter how we asked). We still wake up sometimes at night and exclaim, “But how so?” But yes, and that happens.

    The worst and hardest thing for an HR team is to find the right words to explain why they refused a friend. Or sister. Or husband.

    The reasons can be anything, it’s no secret to anyone - at interviews they test both knowledge and personal qualities. But none of these points can simply be taken and voiced, it will be insulting, no matter how you say it. “This is my friend, he is the best in the world and in general saved my life,” - many think so, but alas. Sometimes, something may not coincide in chemistry between the employer and the applicant, no matter how beautiful both are. And it is important to tell about it correctly and carefully. We believe that we often succeed.

    Even in our particular case, there was a difficulty in switching to an online format. On the one hand, you want to get the cherished resume and contacts and run as soon as possible to communicate with the candidate: what if he is the same long-awaited employee? And therefore, the recruiter is ready to pick up the resume not just by mail, but completely printed or even written by hand. On the other hand, you need to collect applications in an online form in order to keep statistics, and to train your colleagues in digital.

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