By Ring Nishioka, VP of Operations at MoxiWorks
I joined MoxiWorks about 18 months ago and when I joined, the company had just under 50 employees and an office space of about 5000 square feet. The Little Engine that could has come a long way in the past 18 months. The doubling of our agent count has included 25 new employees and the doubling of our office space square footage.
As one of the HR folks in the company, it has been my responsibility to hire these last 25 employees along with our HR Specialist, Emily “HRSavage” Sherwood. We have hired 13 employees since the beginning of 2018 and we’re not looking to slow it down anytime soon.
MoxiWorks is based in Seattle, Washington and the market for technology talent is very similar to the real estate market – there are more buyers than there are sellers/inventory. All of the large tech companies have created more job openings than there are candidates. So recruiting quality candidates can be tough.
In the same way that the market has driven up the price of homes in Seattle, the market has driven the starting salaries for technologists through the roof. Graduates from good schools with computer science degrees and zero experience are making more than their parents. While that might sound absurd, it’s the truth. Supply and demand at its finest.
The multiple offices of Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and the numerous startups including Uber, Lyft, and CHEF, to name just a few of the more recognizable names, is putting a squeeze on the little engine MoxiWorks.
So, what is a non-Microsoft sized tech company to do when it needs to fill openings? Like most brokerages, we try to entice candidates by creating a cool place to work and creating a strong brand in the marketplace, but the best thing we have done to recruit new talent is the use of our employee referral program and the use of social media.
Like most companies, we offer a referral bounty for employee referrals. We pay this bounty on the first day of the new hires employment. We don’t ask the employee who made the referral to wait three months before we pay out because it was the hiring manager and the interview loop that made the hiring decision.
Our bounty is $1500.00, which is modest by Seattle standards. We don’t want Moxians to quit their day jobs because the bounty on a referral is too high. We want to say “thank you” with a token of appreciation. Why do we want referrals so badly? We want referrals because our employees feel this is a great place to work and want to share the experience. Make the referral $10-$20K (yes, it is a thing) and folks will throw random candidates against the wall in the hopes of getting lucky.
Our employees are MoxiWorks BEST source of referrals and leveraged with Social media, we can make a serious dent in the list of open positions. And the same could be said for new agent recruits. Moxi employees know what our culture is, they know what success looks like, and they know the hiring managers. As an HR guy, what I like the most about employee referrals is that new hires that are referred by a current employee have a friend, ally, mentor and big brother / sister to watch their back. We know this is typical for brand new agents just getting into the real estate world. We all need someone to show us the ropes. These employees put their reputations on the line and are motivated to make sure their referral is successful.
To give you some perspective, the last three months at MoxiWorks looked like this:
- Our Test Engineer referred TWO technologists.
- Our Marketing Automation Manager referred our VP of Marketing
- A new hire developer liked the interview process so much, he referred his developer friend BEFORE HIS FIRST DAY OF EMPLOYMENT.
- Our CEO referred our CFO
If we went through a hiring agency using outside recruiters, we would have spent close to $170,000.00 in agency fees. We also would NOT have had organic relationships with these new hires.
We create a job posting and then our Content Marketing Manager, Tiana Baur, creates links that the employees can post on their persona LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds.
And just like that, we’re swimming in plenty of quality referrals from our employees we know and trust.
Yes, we are hiring, and currently looking for:
If you’re not currently a Moxian and want to refer a candidate that we hire, we would like to say “thank you” with a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. Hit me up at Ring@moxiworks.com.