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Can the crowd help you recruit your next CEO?

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Referrals and recommendations have long been a part of the recruitment process, with the role of ones network growing exponentially the higher up the corporate hierarchy you go.

A study from North Carolina State University found that for every dollar more paid in salary, it was 2% more likely the job would be filled via our social network.

Let’s use an example to put that into a bit of perspective.  If you’re going for a job that pays $100,000 a year, then it is 86% more likely to be filled via ones social network than if you were going for a job paying $14,500 per year.  All of which is rather staggering.

All of which is rather interesting, especially as the level of thought diversity in our executive teams is so important, yet the evidence suggests that our organizations tend to fish in a rather shallow pool.

All of which makes the approach taken by recruitment company Recluta quite interesting.  They’ve taken the traditional refer a contact and earn a referral fee approach and opened it up to the crowd, rather than simply to the workforce.

They’re trying out this approach in their bid to find an executive team for medical device startup Electroblate.

The recruiters are offering a $20,000 bounty to the person that refers a successful candidate to them for the top job of CEO.  There are smaller prizes of $10,000 available for the three available board positions.

“Recluta and partner MDB Capital Group are the only companies that have successfully crafted searches for senior level hires utilizing a crowdsourced approach to cast the widest possible net,” said Recluta CEO Roberto Jimenez.

The hope is that by opening up the recruitment process to the crowd, it avails the company of a much wider pool of talent to hunt in, thus providing the company with the kind of leadership needed to prosper.

The virtue of having innovative recruitment

Of course, whilst this may indeed attract a great candidate to the post, there may also be additional benefits in taking this somewhat unconventional approach.  A study published last year found that unconventional approaches received five times as many applications as more traditional methods.

The study, conducted by a team of Belgian psychologists, revealed that the uniqueness of the recruitment process goes a very long way to determining the number and quality of applicants you’ll receive.  This is even more so in competitive fields where candidates will have many jobs to choose from.

What’s more, the researchers also reckoned that the quality of the applicants were higher too.  The researchers believe that the unusual method grabbed the attention of the better qualified people who perhaps weren’t actively looking for a new job.

So maybe, this crowdsourced approach may pay dividends, although of course, the very nature of referral based recruiting tends to suggest you’ll get people who weren’t actively looking for work getting nominated.

Interesting approach though, isn’t it?  Would it work in your organization?

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