Your employees know your company and its needs. Top performing employees are likely to know other people that would be high performers at your company. For this reason, employee referral programs are the best method for recruiting at any organization. According to LinkedIn, the number one way people discover a new job is through a referral. And according to CareerXRoads, employee referrals are 3-4 times more likely to be hired than non-referral employees. Here are some employee referral programs ideas and best practices for you to implement at your business:
1) Have a bigger purpose
Make your goal for employee referrals to go beyond just filling open jobs at your company. Make it clear to employees that the purpose of employee referrals is team building and improving employee morale. Make employees excited about employee referrals, instead of making it seem like a chore. To do this, one of the employee referral programs best practices is to find fun ways to introduce employees that are referrals. For example, Salesforce holds Recruitment Happy Hours where employees can bring friends along they would like to refer.
2) Start the process from employee onboarding
From the time you onboard new employees, make it clear that employee referrals are encouraged or required in your company culture. One of the employee referral programs ideas you can start with is to have employees start thinking about people from their last job that would be good for your company.
3) Create awareness for employee referral programs
Once you make it clear that employee referrals are an important part of your company culture, continue to remind and motivate employees. One of the important employee referral programs best practices is marketing them through company emails, meetings, events, collateral displayed throughout the office and social media. Come up with a fun name for your employee referral program and make potential incentives known to all employees.
4) Let employees know what to expect
You may decide to give a phone call to all the employee referrals you receive, or only the ones you determine qualified. Whatever you choose to do, another one of the employee referral programs best practices is to make your protocol for contacting employee referrals clear to all employees so they know what to expect. Then update employees on the status of the person they referred at every step: when you reach out to them, when you speak to them, if they got an interview, how the interview went, etc.
5) Make referrals as easy as possible
Referrals shouldn’t be seen as work by employees. They shouldn’t have to provide more than a name and contact information. Then let the recruiting team take it from there. Also, make it easy for employees to share job postings with their friends on social media by posting all of them on your company pages.
6) Reward employees who refer
To increase the likelihood of success for your employee referral program, offer incentives. These can be monetary or material rewards like company merchandise, gift cards or cash bonuses. But you don’t necessarily have to involve material things. Often, simple employee recognition through weekly emails, at meetings, or personal thank you notes will go a long way. Just show your appreciation in some way. Or you can get really creative. One of the employee referral programs incentive ideas that consulting and IT company Accenture came up with was to allow employees that referred friends to donate part of their bonus to charity and Accenture would match that amount. Often, the big motivator for employees to give referrals is to help a friend and involving charity donations increases that do-good feeling in employees even more.
Creating a recruiting culture through employee referrals is an excellent way to improve your company culture. And by implementing these ideas you are sure to attract the talent you need for business success.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.