Being social animals, we humans tend to trust the recommendations of our friends and acquaintances more than anyone else. And this phenomenon is also applicable to hiring as it is with everything else we do. Talented candidates are more likely to apply for a job recommended to them by their friends and corporate recruiters are more likely to hire candidates recommended by their employees than outsiders who have little knowledge of an organization’s culture.
No wonder then, that employee referrals are one of the most successful hiring channels for recruiters as reflected by these numbers.
- According to a research by Deloitte, 51% of recruiters rank referrals as one of their top sources of hiring.
- According to a white paper by Jobvite, employee referral programs are more likely to attract passive candidates.
- According to a white paper by LinkedIn, most of the hiring methods used by recruiters take 55 days to obtain positive results while it takes them 29 days to hire a candidate who was referred by an employee.
- According to a study by achievers, the chances of a referred candidate getting fired decrease by an average of 350%.
Starting an employee referral program is one of the easiest things to accomplish. But, if you want to get more employee referrals it will be totally dependent on the way you promote your referral program and the way the program is received by your existing employees.
Given below are 7 ways you can make your referral program a hit.
1. Ask the CEO to launch the employee referral program
This is a golden opportunity for you to make the CEO of your organization push the program by sending an introductory email or message on your intranet thereby killing two birds with one stone. Number one, it will create a positive synergy in the minds of the employees, ensuring them the authenticity of the rewards associated with each successful referral. Number two, it will encourage the employees to refer their best resources to you to be in the good books of the CEO which in turn will result in better quality employee referrals.
2. Make a real deal about the rewards of great referrals
Never hesitate to come up with incentives for great referrals. If you are currently offering one paid leave or a $20 gift voucher not many employees will be keen to suggest referrals to you. Instead, try to make the rewards more attractive. You can make it like a lottery win by offering them a top prize to join in the program like iPads, LED TVs, $ 500 in cash, a paid vacation, etc.
Create a multi-reward scheme wherein if an employee refers successfully three people in a period of two years, they get a serious reward like earning loyalty points on top of the regular rewards for each hire. Give them an option to encash the points on every fourth hire by incentivizing things by giving them an extra week’s holiday in conjunction with the standard referral price for that fourth hire. Let every employee in your organization know about the rewards so that they take your employee referral program seriously. Remember, the amount that you spend on the rewards will be far less than the fee of one placement from a staffing agency.
3. Introduce gamification to amplify the competition of referrals amongst employees
Put on a leadership board and introduce gamification in the employee referral program by publicly sharing the stats related to the employee who has referred the most candidates, who has the most referred candidates in the interview process and who is responsible for referring the highest number of hires. With the help of a little competitiveness, you can stimulate employees to get more referrals to become the toppers.
Have a department-level leadership board to encourage each and every employee to participate in the process. Give an additional incentive for those employees in the department that comes up with the most referral candidates like gifting them an iPhone 8.
4. Offer rewards for getting through different hiring stages
If you are willing to offer a $ 500 reward for each successful hire we suggest that you incentivize the procedure for the employees by giving them a reward of $ 100 when their referral gets through the first interview; for getting through the second interview pay them $ 200. Consider giving them different rewards depending on how far the candidate gets in the hiring process.
5. Provide a basic employee referral training to your existing employees
Many a times employees do have referrals but, do not know the mechanism of referring them to the organization. The best way to deal with this situation is by training them while onboarding or in a team sourcing meeting. This can be a quick training that provides them a useful guidance about how to search through different social media networks for a suitable referral and how to submit the referral through a system of your choice.
6. Keep the program fresh in the minds of employees
After a period of time it is natural for your employee referral program to notice a dip in terms of employee engagement. To keep the employees interested long after the launch, you need to introduce creativity in the scheme of things. Shuffle the incentives every three months, add new incentives periodically, send a periodic newsletter that updates employees about the latest rewards on offer and the current job openings available.
To spice up the program, you can even introduce a social hour wherein the successful referrals can meet up with the employees who referred them as a part of your appreciation. This will not only have a positive impact on your employer brand, but will also encourage other employees to bolster their efforts to refer someone in your organization.
7. Keep the referrer informed
Always let the employees know the current status of their referrals. Keep them informed about the exact stage of their hiring funnel their referral has reached. Enlighten them proactively about the referral hiring status before they ask for it. This way they will feel valued.
In case their referral does not get through the interview process, tell them about it honestly by showing gratitude for their help in the process. This is the ultimate way to show that you trust them which will ensure that they keep sending the referrals in the future too.
Employees are always on the lookout to refer their friends and past colleagues. They only require encouragement from your end in the form of incentives that can make your referral pipeline grow. Use creative tips mentioned in this blog to incentivize the already motivated employees and get more employee referrals.