Finding the perfect candidate to join your company is a daunting task all on its own. Sometimes we have a stroke of luck that makes our jobs a little bit easier even if just temporarily. For me, this happens when I come across what I have named a “cheerleader employee.” A cheerleader is what I refer to when you find someone who is not only qualified and an excellent cultural fit, but also irrevocably passionate about the company, and they want everyone around them to know it. They love their job, and they seem to have an endless supply of referrals. In a sense, they could be your best asset in selling candidates at your workplace. My advice is when you’re fortunate enough to come across someone like this you should strive to foster a long-term working relationship with that person.
As recruiters and sourcers it is our job to sell the merits of every position so of course, we do our best to convey an exciting and intriguing opportunity. We can continuously express just how significant the benefits and opportunities are within our organization until we’re blue in the face, but when you have applicants who are fatigued from talking to recruiters all claiming that this is the “best place to work” it can diminish the strength of the message. It is only logical that hearing rave reviews about a company from someone working the job that has no obligation to recruit others would carry much more weight to a job seeker.
Last year I facilitated the hire of my best cheerleader employee, and she submits at least two referrals a month, and the majority of those she sends to me are offered positions. I wish I had five more employees just as enthusiastic as her. So what can you do to nurture a relationship with that employee and use their zeal to your advantage? Here are a few examples.
Give any of their referrals the “white glove” treatment
Employees are more likely to refer quality candidates if they know that they won’t be lost in the shuffle of all the other applications we receive. Even if the referred candidate does not prove to be a good fit for your organization, it is of the utmost importance that they have a positive experience. The referrals may not be a good fit for the position they’re currently interviewing, but another opportunity may arise in the future that is a perfect fit. Providing a positive experience the first time around will keep them in the pipeline as a viable candidate.
Express your appreciation for their efforts to their supervisor
There is nothing better than getting praise for a job well done. All too often supervisors only hear the negative feedback on employees and not nearly enough of the good. Ensuring positive reinforcement from their bosses will only strengthen your working relationship with the employee.
Invite them to attend job fairs with you
As recruiters, we share as much information as possible about the positions we source for, but the reality is, we’re not the ones living it. Being able to hear about those great experiences on the job straight from the source could be the difference of a candidate choosing one opportunity over another. Also, there will always be those questions that candidates have that only someone currently in that role would know.
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Never stop saying thank you
This may seem self-explanatory, but it does make all the difference when people feel appreciated. Whether it’s a card or just a quick phone call, a little bit of gratitude goes a long way. A cheerleader employee does not have to bring their exuberance for their job outside of work to share with others. When they evangelize their love for their job, it presents an unmeasurable benefit to you as the recruiter and your company as a whole.