Modern recruiting requires a proactive approach. The current market is highly candidate-driven, and just putting up job posts on the company website and waiting for the perfect candidate to come along doesn’t work anymore.
So hiring teams and recruiting heads are turning to some of their best resources – their employees – to source and hire great talent. A research study by Deloitte revealed that around 50 percent of businesses mention employee referrals as their primary source of quality candidates.
Why Employee Referrals Are Valuable
As we all know, word of mouth is a powerful thing, especially when it comes to employee referrals. We tend to trust recommendations from people we know over those from people we don’t. Employee referrals enable companies to leverage their current employees’ relationships while rewarding them for their efforts.
The primary benefits of employee referral programs include:
- Better quality candidates
- Reduced time to hire
- Reduced cost per hire
- Reduced staff turnover
- Improved employee engagement
- A more invested team
Top Tips To Drive Good Referrals From Employees
Provide Incentives To Encourage Employee Participation
Rewarding your employees and providing incentives are key to a successful employee referral program.
Companies have various ways to recognize employees for referrals who go on to become successful new hires. Rewards could be issued at the time the new hire is onboarded, or they could be deferred until the new employee has completed a certain number of workdays.
Bonus payments are the most frequent incentives. Other options include gifts, gift cards, paid leaves, vouchers, or trips. It is important to offer incentives that your team will value. Employees who successfully refer for difficult-to-fill positions might receive a larger incentive than average.
Keep It Simple
If the process of referrals is too complicated, chances are you won’t be getting too many of them. Keep your referral system simple and easy to navigate.
An employee referral program should be rapid, straightforward, and user-friendly. It could be an employee referral portal, a form on the company website, or an internal email – just make it easy to refer a person and keep track of the referral.
The program needs to ask for enough information to properly identify the referee, the candidate being referred, and the position that the candidate is recommended for. If HR has follow-up questions for the referee, they can contact the person directly at a later time. The goal is to get the referral as efficiently and promptly as possible.
Communicate With Referees About Their Referrals
Employees who take the time and effort to refer a person for their organization deserve prompt and clear feedback about the people they refer and where their candidates are in the hiring process.
Ensure communication is open and timely. The candidate, as well as the employee, should ideally be notified within the first week of receiving the referral, and regular follow-ups should be maintained as required throughout the process.
Provide feedback to employees on why certain referrals were ideal for the company, and why others may have been unsatisfactory. This will enhance their referral skills and allow for better quality of recommended candidates in the future.
Integrate Referrals Into Your Company Culture
To make your employee referral program really work for you, make it a part of your company culture. Integrating it into your organization makes the program feel more like an organic part of the business rather than just another recruiting tool.
Some ways to integrate your referral program into your company culture:
- Hold an official launch during an office party or company-wide meeting to create awareness and enthusiasm around the program. Give employees a brief overview, along with incentives to participate.
- Continue to brand and promote the program internally on a regular basis. For example, you could run a quarterly campaign with catchy taglines and other marketing strategies to boost employee involvement.
- Give a shout-out to employees who participate in the program, and whose referrals end up being hired. You could post about them on the company’s social media or in the company newsletter, or announce their contributions on the organization’s website.
Track The Success Of Your Referral Program
Like all business strategies, employee referral programs need regular monitoring, refinement, and updating to remain effective. To check whether your program is working for your organization, it’s important to track your results.
Have a clear outline about your business goals from the employee referral program and the associated metric for each goal. Use a good applicant tracking system that can track and monitor employee referrals. Identify areas of improvement and make adjustments accordingly.
Metrics might include:
- Total number of referrals
- Number of hired referrals
- Retention rate of referred employees
- Performance metrics for referred employees
- Number of referrals per role or department
Tracking these metrics will give you a clearer perception of how well your employee referral system is performing in the long term.
At Employvision, a leading IT recruitment agency, we have been in the business of recruiting top IT talent for over 15 years, and we know how valuable referrals from existing employees can be. It’s the employees who know best what it’s like to work at an organization and the kind of people who would be the best fit. A good employee referral program can get you great results, lower the cost per hire, and provide a multitude of benefits for everyone involved in the hiring process.
If you need the best technology talent, Employvision is here to help. Contact us and start hiring great talent today!