What’s the best way to find the right person for a job opening: placing a want ad, contacting a headhunter, posting within the company, or asking current employees to recommend a friend?

In the social networking era, the last option increasingly makes sense, says Tal Moran, CEO of Tomigo, an Israeli startup offering a customized recruitment platform to leverage the social-media connections of employees.

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Moran points out that leading companies realize every staff member has access to a database of personal connections, and many offer rewards for recommending a friend who turns out to be a good fit for the job. All that remained was to invent a sleek and efficient way for the data to be shared and maximized for everyone’s benefit.

This is why Moran founded Tomigo (a contraction of “to” and the Spanish word for friend, “amigo”) in mid-2011 with his twin brother, Nimrod, and Lior Atias.

“I was working in a startup and saw how difficult it is to recruit new employees, especially when you are looking for specific skills,” Moran tells ISRAEL21c. “I saw that when companies asked employees to help, they did it in very simple ways such as email, but there weren’t special management tools for this.”

There was another motivating factor for Moran. “Because I am hard of hearing, I am familiar with a community of very talented people having difficulty finding new jobs, because usually recruiters call by phone and they cannot answer. So we have a pool of talented job-seekers, and employers needing to find talent that may be only a click away.”

The company logo is sign language for “pay it forward.”

Friends’ recruits stay longer

Using Tomigo, in-house recruiters post job openings for which employees can invite friends to apply via social networks. Applicants are filtered based on employee recommendations; after all, who knows the applicants better than their own friends? The employee responsible for recruiting the person who gets the job receives a reward of the company’s choosing.

Moran says surveys show that employees recruited through friends stay on the job twice as long as other recruits, resulting in a 70 percent reduction in cost and a 30% reduction in recruitment time compared to traditional approaches.

He also sees Tomigo as a trust-building tool between bosses and staff. It’s an open secret that many employees are already on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn during business hours, so why not provide a legitimate reason for social networking on the job?

The logo is sign language for “pay it forward.”
The logo is sign language for “pay it forward.”

A single platform is used for referrals and recommendations, application status updates and analysis of results. Direct, centralized communication is much easier than trying to catch a colleague at the water cooler, Moran points out. “Our plan is to provide the solution on a global scope.”

Tomigo received a major vote of confidence in the form of a half-million-dollar investment from Tel Aviv Angel Group in 2012. The company has gained international clients including Matrix, Credorax and Sapiens.

Recently, Tomigo won a contract to provide social recruiting services for the 1,200-employee Israeli branch of Perrigo, the world’s largest manufacturer of private-label, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and a leading global supplier for prescription drugs and nutritional products.

“Beyond the innovative technology that Tomigo provides, the positive response it elicits from employees, and the fact that it widens the pool of candidates and lowers the cost of recruitment, Tomigo’s staff is amazing and a pleasure to work with – very responsive, professional, and quick with answers and solutions,” said Liat Mayan, Perrigo Israel’s staffing manager.

“We live in a world where whole countries are affected by very small companies,” says Moran, 28, who oversees a staff of six at Tomigo’s Herzliya headquarters and also relies on a team of freelancers. He is working toward marketing his service to corporate New York next.

He is also growing his own business in a socially friendly way. Tomigo staffers enjoy happy hours in order to learn more about one another, and received Amazon gift cards to purchase books for sharing through an office library.

“It’s all about people, and if you want to change the world you should work with the best and the brightest,” says Moran. “This is the reason we are really invested in developing the people here.”