Growing a Successful Employee Referral Program

Creating an effective employee referral program is the key to recruiting success.  Studies have shown that employee referrals are the number one source for quality hires.  Referred employees have higher retention rates, engagement, and performance than any other source of hire.  If your organization doesn’t already have an effective employee referral program, follow the tips below to get one implemented as soon as possible.

Designate two or three employees to lead your referral program.

While human resources should be heavily involved in your ERP, in order for it to be effective management has to be on board.  It’s important to designate two to three managers across different departments of the organization to be the chairs of the program.  It will be their duty to monitor the program and deliver feedback to make the program more successful.

Make sure your software is user friendly. 

If you want employees to be engaged in the referral program, you have to make it easy for them to do so.  Your recruiting software should be relatively self explanatory and easy to use across all job positions.  The biggest risk when creating an employee referral program is complexity.  Make sure to keep your program as simple as possible.  If your program requires training, employees aren’t going to take the time to mess with it.

Acknowledge employees for their referrals.  

If you don’t make employees feel appreciated for referrals they aren’t going to go out of their way to refer someone again. Referrals should always be acknowledged, and you should recognize employees for submitting a contact to express how important referrals are.  Give a shout out to the employees who are participating in the ERP at all staff meetings or keep a referral board that recognizes employees in the break-room.

Another thing to keep in mind is that employees want to know how their referral is doing in the hiring process.  What’s the status of their referral?  Has an interview been scheduled?  Will they be called back for a second interview?  Keep employees in the loop on what’s going on with their referrals.  The more transparent you can be, the more likely they are to share their contacts and make referrals in the future.

Increase your incentives.

Raising the referral bonus doesn’t necessarily lead to more engagement in the ERP.  Increasing the number of incentives instead of the amount does.  It’s important to make sure you’re rewarding engagement in the program, not just recruits.  Give out small, immediate rewards just for participation.  This can be anything from a $5 gift card to the coffee shop around the corner or a special pen with the company logo on it.  By giving a small reward for every referral, you reward the behavior you want and encourage employees to keep participating.  Define the bonus amount that will be paid to employees if their referral gets hired.  Keep it simple by rewarding equal amounts for all jobs and avoid delaying the bonus payment for three to six months.  Too many rules and restrictions keep employees from wanting to participate.

Not getting the referrals you’re looking for? 

Let the experienced recruiters at BOS Staffing help.  At BOS, we go out of our way to match the right talent with the right employers in Northeast Georgia and beyond. Give us a call today to talk about customized staffing solutions for your organization.

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