If your organization is using social recruiting to find candidates, you may be asking yourself the following questions: How do I find quality candidates using social recruiting? Is it a matter of just scouring through social networks hoping someone just sticks out? Word-of-mouth? Or maybe just sitting back and waiting until they come to me?

While these methods are all well and good, using smart matching — particularly in your referral programs — is the best way to source great candidates. Let’s explore what smart matching is and how you can use it to find the best workers.

What is smart matching recruiting?

Smart matching essentially means searching for candidates in your recruiting platform using specific criteria. For example, if you were looking for an advertising executive with 12 years of experience, you’d input these requirements into your search. However, smart matching goes deeper than that.

In order for smart matching to be successful, you need to have an algorithmic system. Using algorithms means you won’t have to rely on on manual searches anymore. A platform that automatically links your requirements with social profiles is a benefit since you won’t have to do any heavy lifting.

So, let’s say you wanted to find a candidate through Facebook who went to NYU, has five-plus years of experience in accounting, and knows someone in your internal network. Smart matching algorithms can help you to locate these candidates in a highly targeted way.

In addition, matching algorithms are a great way to seek out passive candidates. That is, you can recommend candidates who are not necessarily looking for a new job based on their work experience.

Why do employers need to take advantage of it?

About 92 percent of employers are researching candidates online. Are you among them and actually successful? In conjunction with social recruiting, smart matching allows you to jumpstart your efforts since you can find the right candidates in a streamlined way.

For instance, your company may have tried to acquire candidates online through straight job postings on social media, which may not be tailored to a specific audience. So, how many times have you received unqualified applicants? Probably a lot. This clogs up your pipeline and slows down the recruitment process. Smart matching ensures your results are tailored to the job description, your company culture, and your standards.

Let’s look at this from the opposite side of the spectrum. Say you already received an application, but you want to make sure the candidate is who they are. Smart matching allows you to input certain criteria, pulling up the applicants social networking platforms. That way, you’re able to see their presence, how they interact with others, and gain an understanding of how they’d be as an employee based on their online brand.

How do you optimize it in your referral programs?

Employee referrals are consistently named the number one source of hire and retention.    Members of your network — including non-employees — are going to recommend candidates who are best for your company. In addition, if a member of your network recommends a candidate to you, they care about their reputation, not just the gratification or a reward. They also typically value your relationship, so they want to offer you the best. Because of this, many employers have employee referral programs.

So, when you’re optimizing smart matching recruiting in your referral programs, it’s important to do a few things. First, engage your employees by explaining how smart matching works, showing them examples of the algorithm, while taking them through the process, step-by-step. As I mentioned above, you can also provide rewards so they have a reason to refer candidates. Lastly, by using methods like gamification, you can create healthy competition between internal and external networks. This makes referrals fun and encourages smart matching to actually occur.

Smart matching is a great way to not only find candidates, but also find the right candidates. By using the right algorithm, combining the process with social recruiting, and optimizing smart matching in your referral programs, you’ll discover a much higher caliber of referrals, candidates, and eventually, employees.

What do you think? What are some other ways to use smart matching recruiting in your referral programs?