Union employees are able to participate in the selection of their colleagues by recommending them for a specific position. This bold move has proven to be successful over the 2 years the company's "referral" programme has been running.
"The steadily decreasing unemployment rate in Bratislava, which is currently below 3%, has prompted us to look at the situation differently. We asked ourselves what our employees want – if they want to work with people who compliment them, know them or, in an ideal case, they are their friends," explains Miroslava Šugová from Union. Miroslava Šugová goes on to explain the reasons why they opted for this method. "As an employer, we trust our people and allow them the freedom to utilise their initiative and creativity.. We want them to feel empowered here and that's why we also ask their opinion on who is the best fit for us. It is for this reason that we encourage them to tell their friends that life at Union is good. That's the essence of our 'referral' programme," says the consultant. It applies to every single position, regardless of whether it is an administrative job or a managerial position.
It offers a double reward
At Union, employees are encouraged to recommend new colleagues through two means. The first is a financial reward. Positions are divided into several categories within the "referral" programme. "The more complex and challenging the position, the higher the financial reward the employee can earn. The 'referral' bonus is a one-off payment. Employees are also motivated by the fact that they would be working with someone they know and can vouch for," says Miroslava Šugová.
Just share the link
The point of "referral hiring" is that your current employee will recommend a suitable candidate from the industry. However, at Union, the traditional verbal submission has been replaced by Nalgoo ATS, a sophisticated digital candidate recruitment system. "We can generate one specific link - a link to our internal site where open positions are posted. If our employee knows someone suitable, he or she simply forwards the link to a friend. When that person signs up for the position under the shared link, they are automatically marked as a referral in our system. We can even track that he or she is a recommended candidate from a specific employee," Miroslava continues. All employees have access to the system.
Data is key
"The Nalgoo system allows us to track many parameters. We keep track of where candidates are coming from, we track the success rate of those sources across different groups of positions. We are also interested in our internal efficiency. How long it takes us to fill a position and get an employee on board. We try to make sure that our feedback is prompt. We also monitor the progress of the selection process, the reasons why our candidates leave and so on," said the Union consultant. "At the same time, we really appreciate that the legislative requirement for GDPR is managed simply," added Miroslava Šugová. Registration is very easy; you just need to fill in a few pieces of information. If the candidate has a CV ready, it takes about 10 seconds. Otherwise, the system allows you to fill in the basic data, i.e. create a profile, which takes no more than 3 minutes.
The importance of the programme is growing
In addition to "referral hiring", the company also publishes job offers on job portals. "Job portals still have a place in the market," said Miroslava Šugová. "Based on the number of candidates and the success rate, i.e. how many of candidates actually apply for the position, job portals are still stronger than 'employee referral'." "However, 'referral' has changed significantly in terms of candidate success rates. It is now the second strongest source, after the career portal, from where the company sources employees. The HR department noticed a positive fluctuation in the number of people who have come to the company through "referral" and stayed. "I can say that 'referral' has proved to be successful for us because the turnover of staff is very low. They are simply more loyal because they have received accurate information about the new employer from a trusted source. When we started the project, we were interested to see if this assumption would prove to be true. And indeed, it has," adds Šugová.
We have eliminated a lot of daily work
The digitisation of the system has brought significant benefits to the company. Union is made up of 2 sister companies, a commercial insurance company and a health insurance company. Some positions are generic to both companies, others are specific to only one of them. "The previous system did not allow us to combine information in one system, and for the information to comply with legislation, while Nalgoo allows us to do so. We don't have to use Excel and the system captures everything. It improves our internal HR efficiency. We can add reminders to inform ourselves of when we need to action something. It allows us to provide candidates with swift feedback. We don't have to be worried about transcribing positions from different sources, Nalgoo just transfers them to us and in some cases, such as on job portals, the change is transferred almost the instant I enter it. I like the fact that everything can be tracked and entered and that I have never heard 'no, it can't be done' from the Nalgoo team yet," appreciates Miroslava.