ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hiring employees through referrals has long been the quickest, most efficient way to bring high quality staff on board, but until now, company referral rewards programs have been limited to employees. That means an entire network of trusted former employees and people who work for business partners and vendors were left out. These people are extremely well positioned to understand the company and its business needs. They know a lot of great candidates who aren't actively seeking new positions, many of whom may appear in their social media contacts. Expanding referral rewards programs to these people and leveraging the power of social media is the idea behind Zao, a unique technology platform that automates the referral process, integrates social networks and manages rewards.
The idea for Zao came when founder and CEO Ziv Eliraz was tasked at his previous company with opening a US office for an expanding international technology company. He needed to quickly build a US staff, but traditional job boards and recruiters weren't bringing in the right people quickly enough. Eliraz found himself bogged down interviewing candidates who didn't have the skills he needed. He then tapped into his business network to find qualified candidates, and the turnaround was instantaneous.
"The people I'd worked with at other companies immediately understood what I was looking for in a candidate because they knew the industry," Eliraz recalls. "Instead of interviewing 10 people to fill a single position, I got a steady stream of qualified candidates and was able to quickly build the workforce I needed." Eliraz added: "I used the same principles in building the team at Zao. I didn't know any of Zao's current team members before I founded the company. But people who I trust did – and that's what helped me hire such a great team so quickly."
Spotting an opportunity in the market, Eliraz and his team set out to design a platform that would allow HR professionals and hiring managers to make great hires quickly by expanding referral searches beyond their current workforce, leveraging the social networks of employees, former employees, vendors and others to supercharge the referral process. The result is Zao, an easy-to-use, automated platform that uses unique matching algorithms to search business and personal social networks and zero in on profiles containing the right talent.
Zao also delivers powerful tools to help companies manage complex referral bonus programs, providing a way for businesses to motivate employees and other referral sources to distribute job openings across their social networks with company-defined cash rewards that Zao manages.
The platform is completely free to use: Zao only profits when companies decide to provide a referral bonus and then make a successful hire that is referred through Zao. There are no monthly fees and no per-user or per-job fees. Premium features are available to all, not just big businesses.
Zao puts hirers in the driver's seat, providing complete control over the job forwarding process, including the ability to forward job openings only to specific people, limit the degrees of separation in connections and set the number of candidates individuals can recommend. Zao's free built-in applicant tracking system allows hirers to view and rate candidates, see social connections and evaluate referrals prior to making interview decisions.
The platform automatically integrates Facebook and LinkedIn contacts for referrers, using a sophisticated algorithm to recommend potential candidates within the referrers' social networks, enabling referrers to make a recommendation with a single click.
"When employers ask employees to make a referral, in essence, they're asking them, 'Who do you know who might be a good fit for the job?' That immediately lowers employee participation to just those employees who have someone specific in mind," Eliraz observes. "Zao expands that request, adding a new question: 'Who do your friends know?' Changing the question changes the mindset, which enables 100% employee participation. Our tools automate the search and analyze the data in a very targeted way. Using Zao helps companies truly revolutionize their referral and incentive programs."
Zao also eliminates the headaches associated with referral rewards administration, taking on payment distribution for internal and external referrers. Companies can set their own reward levels, including different rewards for different jobs. The referral rewards administration function is scalable and easy to use: Even customers who make 100 hires a month need only send one lump-sum payment to cover all associated incentives.
HR professionals and hiring managers looking for great hires can save time, money and hassles with a well-designed referral management strategy that broadens the pool of applicants, targets qualified candidates and makes managing incentive rewards a snap. Zao delivers something new in recruiting – a way to hire well, fast. Find out more at www.zao.com.
Zao helps companies hire well and fast by providing a platform that enables employers to create a job opening, set a reward amount and forward the posting to their entire network or specific individuals and track referrals and applicants on an intuitive dashboard. Zao allows potential referrers to automatically search their social networks for qualified candidates and make a referral with just one click. Zao makes it easy to reward internal and external contacts who assist companies in making successful hires. Learn more about Zao by visiting www.zao.com.