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Peer-to-Peer Recruiting from the NBA to Your Business

In an economy of emerging trends, one of the buzz phrases and trends of the new economy is ‘Peer-to-Peer’— most commonly associated with lending. But, what about ‘peer-to-peer’ recruiting, is it something new to the recruiting industry and how can it be used effectively?

Dr. John Sullivan uses the example of the Golden State Warriors successful recruiting effort of former Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant to the Bay-area team, in an article written for ERE Media. According to Durant, “He was shocked the stars of a 73-win would come recruit him…When I met the players on Golden State, I felt as comfortable as I’ve ever felt. It was organic.” The personal connection that Durant felt with the players from Golden State made a difference in Durant’s decision more than a front-office executive’s elevator pitch could have for Durant.

Peer-to-peer recruiting, in reality, is not a new concept like peer-to-peer lending, but there are always ways to improve on longstanding practices. To translate peer-to-peer recruiting to business practices, Dr. Sullivan outlines 12 reasons why “Peer-to-Peer Recruiting” is so effective:

  1. Colleagues are more convincing, authentic, and trusted
  2. Colleagues can make a candidate feel wanted and needed
  3. Colleagues can alleviate a candidate’s concern about being a good fit
  4. Knowing that the team members are committed to excellence can be critical
  5. Involving employees in recruiting increases their “ownership” of the new hire
  6. Peers can answer questions better
  7. Peer recruiters can help top candidates understand how the work is exciting
  8. Peer recruiters can help top candidates fully appreciate their impact
  9. Peer colleagues are simply more believable than recruiters
  10. Peer candidate assessments will likely be more accurate
  11. Allowing private peer-to-peer conversations shows a level of openness and transparency
  12. Already established relationships make peers more credible

Further, Dr. Sullivan recommends implementing a plan of action when employing peer-to-peer recruiting strategy, and keeping these points in mind when doing so:

  1. Provide a how-to toolkit
  2. Focus on the job attraction factors of the candidate
  3. Leave plenty of time for candidate questions
  4. Ask the candidate “who else they would like to meet?”
  5. Face-to-face private conversations are more powerful
  6. Use effectiveness metrics

As proven with the successful recruitment of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, peer-to-peer recruiting can be leveraged as a successful tactic to bring a star member to the team. For businesses, it can be effective as well, so long as it is not an overused tactic that burdens top executives. When used well, the benefits of peer-to-peer recruiting can help business land sought after top performers and boost return on investment.

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