In my day, I’ve hired hundreds and hundreds of service professionals. And, like Southwest Airlines, I was always willing to interview (and often hire) jobseekers who were referred by co-workers, colleagues, employees and others whose opinion I respect. Why? These referred people often shared the same work ethic, values, etc. that my current staff possessed. A random hire was an unknown commodity while a referral involved someone putting up their reputation in support of another.
When you run a small to medium sized business (SMB), you have a really tough time identifying and recruiting quality people to work for you. Your firm is not as well-known as a Dow Industrials 30 firm. You can’t advertise for positions in major magazines. Your campus recruiting network is non-existent or underpowered. Recruiting in an SMB is harder and expensive.
I recently got a briefing from Jobvite’s CEO, Dan Finnigan. Jobvite has taken the time to understand the recruiting nuances in the SMB hiring space. They’ve created a solution that optimizes on the social networks, email contacts, etc. that workers within a SMB firm have and they’ve made a deceptively elegant solution that works well with Microsoft Office applications.
But don’t take my word for it, go to their homepage and take their 6-minute demo.
Whenever I hear firms discuss their plans of ‘taking advantage of other people’s social networks’, I get really nervous. Salespeople know what I’m taking about. You move to a new employer and they want you to make your Rolodex, that’s been years in the making, exploited and owned by them. Excuse me? Some of those relationships are personal, not business. Many of those of relationships took decades to craft.
To JobVite’s credit, they’ve taken a more nuanced, considered approach to this matter. They don’t do a blind grab of employees’ contacts. They don’t spam the social networks that their employees belong to either. Jobvite’s SaaS (software as a service) based solution allows the SMB in-house HR manager/Recruiter to craft new job positions and post them to a company branded (Jobvite built) website. This HR manager/Recruiter forwards the new postings to selected employees within the firm and asks them to forward the posting to friends, colleagues, family, etc. These forwarded positions become the Jobvites (i.e., job invitations). Jobvites can be forwarded to anyone in an employee’s Outlook, Gmail or other contact list (e.g., social network).
The solution is actually much broader than this though. It’s actually a very complete recruiting solution that accepts resumes, parses responses, schedules interviews (via Outlook), etc.
In a SMB firm, the HR function is usually overwhelmed. The few people there are trying to do a dozen people’s work. They must cover the entirety of the HR business needs with a paucity of time and resources. HR in a SMB firm doesn’t function optimally as:
- it lacks straightforward systems to complete their work - it can’t get the IT support it needs for software upgrades or to update the company’s website - its limited staff can’t be experts in every HR process area or discipline - etc.
If vendors are to service SMB firms well, they need to craft solutions that:
- are designed from the beginning to serve SMB users and employers not large enterprises - are really easy to setup and use (repeat this over and over) - are priced low but still deliver great value - are highly integrated - cover entire processes not just components (e.g., source-to-recruit-to-hire vs. benefits enrollment) - incorporate technologies (e.g., Microsoft Excel) that most customers already use
I liked Jobvite’s solution as it uses a very measured, respectful approach to employees’ social networks. It is also well-thought out and designed for a SMB firm. Unlike enterprise solutions that are dumbed-down for the SMB space, Jobvite feels (to quote Goldilocks) “just right”.