An employee referral program leverages our innate desire to share something we like.
When your employees enjoy working for your company, they are more likely to share their experience with people they know and refer them to job openings at your organization. Research shows that employee referrals tend to produce hires that stick with the company longer and are more productive than hires who come through other channels.
If your company doesn’t have a great employee referral program, it should. Building a great company culture that inspires referrals just isn’t enough. The referral program itself should be well-run. Here are a few suggestions on how to build up the specifics of your program.
Don’t Over-Rely on Incentives
It’s challenging to identify employee referral programs that do not include some kind of reward for sending in a referral, whether it’s a monetary bonus or more paid time off. Many companies see a big improvement when they announce a referral bonus. However, if you put too much focus on the reward, you may generate a counterproductive incentive. Staff members may start sending in a lot of low-quality referrals just to get the bonus, rather than referring fewer strong candidates. The result could be a drop–off in quality that wastes precious resources.
Use bonuses as a way of saying “thank you” – and not as the main motivator. Bonuses should be contingent on the referred employee staying with the company for at least six months.
Educate Potential Referrers
When you train employees on your referral program, you should cover two areas: how to refer and how to refer good candidates. You should start by showing the submission process so that employees can refer properly. Then, educate your employees on how to identify the best-qualified candidates, so they are more likely to send in high-quality referrals.
Staff members don’t automatically know what their employers are trying to find in top applicants. They might have a sense but don’t know the fine details on job requirements and team dynamics, particularly if staff members are looking to refer candidates for open positions outside their job scope or department.
Avoid any misunderstandings. Make sure employees can access all job descriptions and encourage them to talk to their colleagues for insight on jobs that are unfamiliar to them.
Loop In Referrers on the Hiring Process
Staff members who refer applicants should get updates on their referrals. Not hearing back from hiring personnel can make referring staff members hesitant to refer again, a misstep which can undermine the entire program.
When an employee refers a candidate, keep the referring employee in the loop, when possible. Let them know what’s taking place at each stage of the process. The referrers should be informed and thanked for their contribution when a referral isn’t moving on to the interview stage. When you motivate your employees to keep trying to find great candidates, it will be less likely to dampen their enthusiasm when a referral doesn’t work out.
Let Us Complement Your Employee Referral Program
While referral programs can be very effective, it’s rarely enough on its own. Please contact NSC today to find out how we can complement your employee referral program.