How effective is your referral program? Staff members could help fill the open positions, but maybe the program doesn’t motivate the staff to find potential candidates. Ere.net provides ten tips to improve the employee referral program. Aside from being ready to compensate employees who find referrals, some suggestions, like promoting the program and getting top management support, seem like common sense but can have a big impact.

One New York based Company, TransPerfect has taken an interesting approach to recruiting, and it seems to be working. The organization attributes their growth to constant training and a smart organizational structure. Training and employee growth incentives are not only key retention strategies, but they could be the answer to filling leadership positions.

Passive job seekers may be hiding out in profession-specific associations. Don’t overlook what could be a gold mine for recruiters. Employers can potentially get the best and brightest in specific industries. Referrals are also a possibility within the professional association network.

It’s a challenging time to be hiring skilled professionals. Staffing Industry warns companies to be smart and strategic. Strategy starts with retention. It also means being open to various work arrangements – part-time/full-time status, locations, and continuing education, in addition to salary.

Who’s Hiring

Government agencies have taken Obama’s Veteran Employment Program as an action item. The change began back in 2009 with an executive order. As of 2012 the percentage of veterans employed by the government is at a 20 year high. The Defense Department had the highest percentage of veteran new hires in FY12 – 45.9 percent.

DARPA has hired Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin for Project Endurance. The work focuses on laser weapons with the goal of defending aircraft from missiles. Northrop Grumman‘s contract is for $14.6 million, and Lockheed Martin‘s contract is for $11.4 million.

Who’s Closing

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) closed its Chambersburg, Pa. and Dayton, Ohio facilities October 1. The closing is part of the ongoing government effort to consolidate data centers. The goal is to reduce the 1,850 facilities to only 100 facilities by 2015.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.