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Archive for Networking – Page 4

Refine Your Referral Hiring Experience

Having worked in staff augmentation and contract staffing for most part of my career, I understand that when it comes to hiring, employee referral scores the most among all other recruitment means for the obvious reason that it is quick and selective plus it offers candidates who already are familiar with your culture and processes.

Here’s what an employee referral program is like for most of the organizations. HR rolls out a requirement calling for referrals, screen, select and hire among them and pay the referring employee a bonus amount once the new hire completes his probation. OK, so you have the process in place and you follow it sincerely but are you actually making the best of your process? Do you feel that your employees hesitate to refer their ex-colleagues, friends and family for the job? If yes, you probably need to motivate and encourage them to participate more. But how…..More money, better rewards? Let’s get real, not every organization is ready to invest more in its employee referral program and this is where HR can contribute by improving the overall referral hiring experience for employees as well as the candidates. When I was faced with a similar situation at work with an ex-employer, I and my team decided to focus more on engagement and acknowledgement throughout the process and the outcome was remarkable.

This is what we did-

Know the referring employee

While in conversation with the candidate, we would mention (something good) about employee who referred him. For employees, there’s nothing like knowing from their friends and family that their employer values them. For bulk hiring or walk-ins, it is not easy to record and recognize the referring employees during the screening and short listing but once the initial phase is done, take time to learn about referring employees and bring them in conversation.

Keep employee involved 

Is the candidate shortlisted, when is he going to be interviewed, is he selected or not, when will you get back to the candidate about the result…it is important to keep employees informed about the hiring progress because they are constantly buzzed for updates by those they referred. When employees feel involved, they are more willing to help a next time.

Do not delay candidate feedback 

When you are hiring through employee referrals, you are more responsible towards the candidates because they are linked to your current employees. Don’t keep them waiting and guessing, selected or not just inform them. A little more of e-mail work helps to win employees trust in the process.

Say “Thank-you” 

Appreciate your employees for their participation in the employee referrals program. Don’t miss the opportunity to thank employees (on e-mails or in person) and let them know you value their cooperation and help.

Avoid struggle for reward 

For an organization, its employees are its ambassadors. Motivating, engaging and appreciating them is essential to tap the greater talent pool they are linked to.Pay employee their reward or bonus in time (as per your policy) without having them follow up or put up reminders.

Reinventing Mentoring

Mentoring has been around since ancient Grecian times, when Odysseus placed his friend Mentor in charge of his son when he went off to war. In today’s world, I see mentoring changing, adapting to different needs and to the demographics and larger changes happening in the world. I also see new avenues for finding and conducting mentoring.

There are several factors at play that are causing these changes. Here are a few that I see as catalysts.

The need for connection to your “tribe”

I spend a lot of time with people I call “Internal Disruptors”. They are leaders at all levels within organizations who want to stay ahead of the curve, on the cutting edge of HR and culture. They want to do things differently and need others to discuss innovative ideas with. They are often missing connections with “people like them” within their organizations, so looking outside for mentoring and networking is important.

The rise of Millennials

Millennials crave feedback and most aren’t getting enough from their bosses. They’re also young, with plenty to learn – and also plenty to teach! There are great opportunities for cross-mentoring relationships with Millennials, where the mentor gets back just as much development as he or she gives.

Check out this Millennial Think Tank for some great insights on Millennials and the need for mentors today.


How rapidly the world is changing

Because of the pace of change, what you need today from a mentor may change tomorrow. You may need several different mentors whom you can call upon when new and different challenges arise. It is increasingly important that people can learn rapidly, bring new skills to the organization, and having people with a range of skills to teach you is a key method for keeping up with learning.

Technology opportunities

You no longer have to look locally for a mentor. In fact, my best mentor is someone whom I met in Thailand and lives in Australia. We speak bi-weekly, providing mentoring, accountability and advice to each other. Although she is on the other side of the world, through Skype and Google Hangouts, our relationship has become closer than many of my local relationships.

So we know the need for various mentors and mentoring relationships certainly exists. Now where does one find the mentor they need? In today’s world, there are also new places to find your mentor.

Social media

Tapping into the openness of social networks like Twitter is a great way to find people passionate and knowledgeable about the things you want to learn. It’s no secret that I meet most people through twitter, either directly or indirectly. I am a huge advocate of having conversations with people online and turning those into real life discussions. Join twitter chats, see who is blogging and tweeting about things you’re interested in, and try reaching out to them. You’d be surprised at how many great leaders on twitter are very open to sharing and having discussions with you.


I met my Australian mentor at an event called Awesomeness Fest. When you’re at an event, you often meet people you may otherwise not have had an opportunity to, and you already know you have something in common – the reason that brought you both to this event. Take advantage of that. If you need help stepping out of your shell and connecting at conferences or events, check out this post about how I stopped sucking at networking. And if you’re looking for an event to meet Internal Disruptors at, you definitely should apply to attend the ReInvent Work Summit (sorry for the shameless plug – the people who attend are simply awesome!)

Non-traditional mentoring

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Ten Thousand Coffees. This is an amazing initiative that is connecting professionals with the next generation of leader. You can search by industry, offering and meeting type. If you’re a young leader, embarking on your career and looking for advice, you can meet leaders in a variety of areas. If you’re a professional, join so that you can mentor and learn from millennials. Another form of non-traditional mentoring but a source of great advice is Virgin’s Mentor Mondays, where leaders share their advice on various topics.

How do you see the need for mentoring changing? Where have you found great mentors?


“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

To quote Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”, couldn’t be more correct when it comes to finding a mentor.

I truly believe it is critical in today’s business world to find yourself one or two mentors to help you grow both professionally and personally. Finding a mentor in your career field/industry is very important in that it can give you guidance from someone who has already “been there, done that”. Someone who has gone through the challenges and struggles, learned from mistakes, put in the work and has risen above the obstacles. It is especially critical as a young business professional to find a good mentor in your field. As a young business professional just starting out your career, for the most part you are a blank slate – full of questions and concerns. Finding a mentor in your field will help drive you, provide clarity, answer questions and increase your confidence.

I also think it is important to find a mentor outside of your career field/industry. Someone who is knowledgeable and professional, who can push you outside of your comfort zone. Find someone who you admire professionally, someone that you can learn from, someone to push you, question you and that will help you grow to where you aspire to be as a person.

Find a mentor who has the time for you and you genuinely wants to help you succeed. Having lunch with a mentor once every six months doesn’t work. Make it a routine meeting every couple of weeks and come prepared. Have questions, scenarios, concerns and plans ready to go that you can discuss and take notes. Take lots of notes! Once you have finished your meeting with your mentor, take time to reflect on your conversation and put into place an action plan with target dates of goal completion. Hold yourself accountable for meeting these goals.

A mentor should not just tell you what to do, they should involve you in the process. Being a part of the process is the only way moving forward will be successful. Understand that not everything will work the first time around and you will need to make adjustments based on what you feel comfortable with and what works for you. That is what your mentor is there for. To help you when you have to take two steps back to move forward again.

Find right mentor that will help push and guide you… you may surprise yourself on how far you can go.

Jennifer Charron is a Recruitment Partner at Lucas Professional Search Group.