Even in today’s always-on, always-connected, automated business environment – and maybe because of it – the power of word-of-mouth referrals remains as strong as ever. That’s the theory behind MintMesh, a referral management tool now available on SAP App Center, which aims to actively engage employees in referring talent and reward them in the process.
I talked to MintMesh’s CEO and co-founder Sunil Chathaveetil to find out more – and share his story with readers of this blog series about the SAP App Center, the SAP digital marketplace where customers can find, download, use and buy solutions directly from SAP partners.
A Personal Network of Contacts as a Tangible Asset
My first question for Sunil: “What’s different about MintMesh?”
“We set out to build the world’s largest referral network,” Sunil said, without a moment’s hesitation. “And we’re doing it by helping people make use of their network of contacts in a positive and productive way, and make that network a tangible asset. A “warm introduction” of a candidate from a friend or colleague can result in hiring about 50% faster than through other channels, which can dramatically reduce the cost to hire. And employee retention is also significantly higher for those who are referred by friends. Yet referral sources are rarely recognized or rewarded in a meaningful way.
“MintMesh changes the equation,” Sunil added, and that point led him directly to describe the thinking behind the MintMesh name. “You have a lifetime of connections to support yourself and your friends. Those contacts are worth a mint as a ‘mesh’ – a network – of connected candidates and employers. MintMesh helps organize them into a talent community and essentially crowd-sources referrals.”
Here’s how it works. The employer creates a job requisition and publishes it via the company’s recruiting application — SAP SuccessFactors Talent Management, for example, although MintMesh is platform-agnostic. The software then syncs directly with the MintMesh mobile app. People within the trusted network of the employer – current employees, contractors, former employees, really anyone in the network – receive immediate notification of the job posting to act upon. The referral sources can use the app to share the job info on their social networks, so it goes viral; the social and professional network becomes one. And it’s simple to attach a resume and send it along via the app or email.
How the “Mesh” is Worth a “Mint”
Meanwhile, the MintMesh app allows the referral sources to earn points by making these introductions. “Employers can get creative about how to give the points value,” Sunil said. “They can offer cash incentives, gift cards, whatever they decide is a good motivator.” Plus, there’s a gamification aspect to it. People can use the app to earn “badges” and move up levels, a feature that’s especially effective in keeping the Millennial generation engaged. “As you use the app and start making referrals, you accrue status points within the community,” Sunil explained. “Being a referrer of note could open more doors for you as a trusted voice of endorsement.”
On the recruiter side, the MintMesh Desktop helps recruiters drive engagement with candidates using a portal that’s like social networking, and individualized for every candidate. Recruiters can track, schedule, email and text candidates from the application to improve their productivity and gain insight into candidate suitability.
I asked Sunil about how MintMesh got started. During his many years working as a consultant specializing in SAP software, he said he became aware of a gap in referral management, which was simply not an area of focus. Recognizing enormous untapped potential, he pooled his experience with two of his colleagues and saw the “white space” in referral management from a different perspective: the costly delays in moving critical projects forward because of a lack of timely staffing. And that is how MintMesh started.
The SAP Connection: “Amazing”
The TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York presented an opportunity to make a direct connection with SAP. Exhibiting at the conference in 2015, the MintMesh team got to talk with a couple of people from SAP who stopped by their booth. At the time, SAP was actively seeking marketable products from partners that could be built on SAP technology and offered on SAP App Center. The match was made.
And how’s that going? “The support from SAP is amazing,” Sunil remarked. “We have regular calls and exchange notes about what’s in the pipeline. And, for example, we just received a request to create sales collateral that the SAP sales team can distribute. It’s by far our best relationship with a partner.”