TiVo’s Referrals

A conversation on Facebook today led us to TiVo’s source-of-hire pie chart (shown), one we had to share.

The 34% is employee referrals. The 20% are recruiter-sourced. The 17% is from the company’s site, though of course that begs the age-old question about how people arrived at the site. The remainder: 15% job boards; 11% temp conversions; 3% internal transfers.

The chart’s not so unusual. What we like is that TiVo shares it with candidates on its career page. The DVR leader will speak (commercial-free) at ERE’s 2009 Fall conference in Florida.

For more on referrals, check out the May issue of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, where Accenture will be profiled. The company’s a candidate for an ERE Recruiting Excellence Award in the employee referral category (winner to be announced at the upcoming Spring conference).

Sjoerd Gehring, global employee referral lead for Accenture and a marketer by trade, led the design, pilot, and now the global roll-out of a new employee referral program for the management, consulting, and technology services giant. Gehring listened to employees, met their needs, and got a big return.

“In looking at the candidate referral process from a marketing perspective, it’s often focused on the needs of the HR department, not on the needs of the referring employees,” says Gehring. “The key is to listen to your employees’ expectations and keep their desires at the heart of the program.”

Gehring built a rapid rewards feature into Accenture’s plan, which pays the referrer a partial bonus of 10 to 20% (what he calls a teaser bonus) just for referring a quality candidate. The balance of the bonus is paid to the employee immediately, once the candidate is hired. His philosophy is simple: First, a referring employee is not an agency, so they shouldn’t be held accountable for vetting candidates. Also, it’s less expensive and more productive to encourage employee referrals by offering small bonuses than to pay agency fees.

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During the Accenture pilot, referrals increased from 14% to 32% of sourced candidates over the prior year, and the number of new hires from referrals increased from 36 to 318 — all because Gehring offered quick bonus payments, with no strings attached.

by Todd Raphael and Leslie Stevens

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