With reduced recruiting staff and diminished finances, companies will need to be as efficient as possible.

One of the gurus of recruiting, Peter Weddle, has coined the term “crowdcruiting,” which suggests drawing on under-utilized employer resources as an alternative to burning out current recruiting staffs. These tactics include asking the employees to help with recruiting and tapping into the candidate management system or the file for individuals with qualified resumes.

These ideas would seem to be nothing new, but Weddle intelligently takes the concepts a few steps farther. Although hiring managers consistently rate new hires generated from employee referral programs as “the best,” most organizations do not optimize these programs.

Weddle further suggests organizing employees into referral channels and assigning an internal champion to support participation within each channel. This tactic engages each occupational or divisional group with a sense of ownership in the recruiting process and a stake in their future team members.

Second, specifically target the talent you want. Request that employees think beyond their family and friends and identify the best talent their field.

Third, create an area on your intranet to post the names of these individuals, “solicit input on their capabilities and personality from other employees, and identify potential contacts with them.”

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Next, give your employees training in recruiting. Make sure everyone knows the organization’s value proposition for the position and can articulate why they decided to work there.

By providing this structure and guidance, organizations can transform their employee referral programs from their typically arbitrary and reactive approaches, to proactive ones by encouraging individuals to connect with the prospects you’ve targeted.

Weddle’s method for tapping the candidate management system database suggests converting the candidate database from a stack of stagnant resumes into a dynamic “candidate referral program.”

Typically, when they have new openings, recruiters perform a cursory search of the candidate database, but expend little energy to build strong relationships with them. These prospects might also be engaged to provide referrals.

Crowdcruiting transforms the acquisition of talent from a human resources activity into “everybody’s business.” This initiative is one strategy wise employers will embrace to drive more to their bottom line.

From The Herman Trend Alert, by Joyce Gioia-Herman, strategic business futurist. www.hermangroup.com


  1. In my experience would-be hires referred by current employees most definitely are NOT the best prospects. They are usually buddies of the employee and as such their affinity is often unrelated to their abilities as a worker. So someone in the company knows Person A–so what? I know a lot of people and I wouldn’t have most of them working in MY company.

    The most disastrous hires I’ve seen were recommended by other managers in the company. I’m not looking for someone that someone else around here knows–I’m looking for someone with creativity, who can think outside the box, who is ethical, who might like to be here, and who isn’t plugged into some clique.

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