Best Tips for a Killer Employee Referral Program

By hrlineup | 30.11.2020

Finding the best candidates to fit a position in a company is not a walk in the park. As such, it helps if you have multiple ways of finding the best talent for the position available. Using job boards, social recruiting, holding networking events and reviewing applications are a couple of ways you can get external talent.

You can also improve your chances of landing a great candidate by looking inward. Aside from internal promotions, you can also leverage your current talent to get to other talented persons. After all, it makes sense that a highly productive employee will hang out with other equally productive persons. You can get these employee connections to work for you through effective employee referral programs.

Below is all you need to know about how an employee program works and some tips to help you improve its efficiency and reward.

But first,

The Benefits of Employee Referral Programs

An employee referral speaks volumes about the candidate referred. From the get-go, you know that they share the same values and have the required skillset.

Below are the top advantages of an employee referral program.

  • It saves the company money and time
  • The company receives quality and qualified candidates
  • Employee retention is higher since employees already have strong bonds with each other

But on the flip side you should watch out for the below disadvantages;

  • You can get biased candidate recommendations
  • The employee referral program can open a door for harsh negative politics
  • When things go south, the company might end up losing the referee and referrer

To reduce these negatives and improve the efficiency of the program, you need to understand how employee referral works and how to build effective employee referral programs.

Tips to Build Effective Referral Programs

Provide employees with the tools they need to refer

If you are serious about using your employees to promote and grow your brand, you should create a company culture that they’d be happy introducing their friends to. Also, you need to provide them with the tools and information they need to fly the company brand flag high.

For instance, you could request new hires to provide you with a list of names from their network who they feel would be a great fit for the position. And when a position is available, request them to introduce the candidate to the company and the open position.

Have clear expectations and guidelines

Ensure your employees understand the purpose of the employee referral program. Moreover, make it clear who can participate in the program and the reward for successful referrals. This reduces the chances of getting referrals based on bias.

Provide lucrative incentives

Many companies offer cash rewards for successful referrals. Some offer $1000 and others $500. But while cash rewards are a great motivation, the terms for qualification aren’t always direct. For instance, some companies will only after the referred employee has worked for a specified duration. This is great for the company but the period shouldn’t be too long.

Also, the referral reward for different positions should be significantly different. If they are, it could pass the message that some positions are more valued than others.

Hold the HR responsible

The most common complaint regarding employee referral programs is the lack of communication on the progress of the process. To keep everyone happy, keep everyone updated on the job status. It helps if you have set timelines within which employees and potential candidates can expect feedback.

Market the program

The employee referral program will only work if employees know about it. If you market the program, more employees are more likely to participate.

One effective method of marketing includes giving referred candidates coveted or premium items as a reminder to everyone that the program is valued.

Nurturing a successful employee referral program takes time but it’s worth it in the long run. Invest in marketing the program and educate all parties involved in the benefits for them and the company.