Your Best Source of Hire Is Referrals – How Strong Is Your Referral Program?

An employee referral program is one of your best recruiting strategies. Encouraging staff to refer qualified candidates for job openings provides a variety of benefits. Referrals tend to fit with company culture, perform better, and remain with the company longer than non-referred employees. Referrals also provide access to an untapped market, including passive candidates, at a lower cost than other recruitment methods that require paid advertising. Find out how to implement an effective employee referral program in a few simple steps.

Provide a User-Friendly Employee Referral Process

Make sure your employee referral process is efficient. Having a quick online system encourages staff to refer members of their network who will excel in a role. Referral software allows hiring managers to send referral requests for specific positions. It also lets employees share open roles with their network.

Offer Incentives

Bonuses, gift cards and vacation days are desirable. So are yoga classes, concert tickets and spa services. If you opt for a tiered incentive plan, offer a flat amount for each referral, then a higher amount if referrals get interviewed, hired or stay with your company for at least six months. Provide even higher rewards for hard-to-fill positions.

Explain Job Requirements

Let employees know what skills, knowledge and experience are needed to fill a role. Although staff already know what a good culture fit looks like, they need guidelines on what to look for in referrals. This is especially important if the vacancy is in another department or job function. Provide links to job descriptions in emails requesting referrals.

Update Employees

Keep staff informed on where their referrals are in the recruiting process. When they know their referrals are making progress, employees are more likely to refer others down the road. Maintain communication about what is happening during every stage of the process. If a referral is not called for an interview, send the referrer a thank-you email anyway. Encourage staff to continue searching for qualified referrals.

Acknowledge Top Referrers

If six of 10 people referred by one employee were hired in the past three months, show appreciation for their effort through public praise from the CEO. You may also award points for each time staff share jobs in their network and refer candidates. You can track each employee’s points on your internal system and mention top referrers in team meetings and on your company site.

Request Feedback on Your Employee Referral Program

Ask employees for input on your referral program. Provide surveys asking what encouraged or discouraged them from referring others. Find out what they would do to improve your program. Continue to evolve your program accordingly.

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