Recruiting Strategy

Is an employee referrals program the most effective way to recruit?

3 minute read

Successful recruiting can be greatly helped along by employee referrals. Candidates referred by co-workers are often quicker and cheaper to hire, with improved retention. How can you implement an employee referral program?

How do you identify favourable traits in candidates? How do you identify those skills or characteristics that set a candidate apart?

In all likelihood this happens at the interview stage where you potentially spend only 20 or 30 minutes with a candidate. How likely is it that you’ll glean that from a few meagre moments? Considering the alternatives, who would be able to offer that insight to you – their friends, acquaintances, their former colleagues. Referrals from your employees are an ideal way to source candidates.

The smallest number of applications, but the greatest number of hires come from internal referrals

Referrals are among the most efficient, cost effective and successful means of sourcing, then hiring candidates. The smallest number of applications, but the greatest number of hires come from internal referrals. Referrals have proven particularly effective for recruiting for sales and marketing, both essential to growth. They can improve employee retention and achieve diversity, with much fewer resource requirements for your HR department. It’s a no-brainer really – internal referrals are better for recruiter and candidate.

Engaging your  employees to contribute to referrals as part of a recruiting campaign requires structure and planning. It does not need to be a large-scale costly program, like those seen in huge multinationals. It just needs to encourage and engage employees. Here’s are a few keys steps to implement in your referrals program.

This post is part of our Employee Referrals series.

Who to take referrals from?

Do you want to take referrals from non-employees or former employees? Do you want to take referrals from employees in unrelated departments? A broader network to utilise can potentially scale up your referrals program. Social media sourcing may also be a cost effective and innovative way of taking advantage of employees’ online network. Your colleagues and employees can act as brand ambassadors, fostering a positive view of your organisation, as well as giving an indication of what you’re all about.

How to reward successful referrals

Financial reward isn’t your only option in this case. 80% of companies use non-financial rewards, instead opting for public acknowledgement or additional holiday time. Charitable donations are also popular in lieu of cash rewards. Such referrals programs need to be constantly encouraged, to avoid dips in participation. Keeping awareness up through email reminders is one simple way of ensuring this. Gamification or competition are also great ways of maintaining interest.

Just as it is with applicants to job postings, if the process is complicated or unclear, they are likely to abandon the application before completion

How to manage

The process should be simple, so as to encourage employees. Just as it is with applicants to job postings, if the process is complicated or unclear, they are likely to abandon the application before completion. Recruiting software can be utilised here, in fact HireHive has a feature to track employee referrals. Employees should be offered feedback and thanks to keep up interest. This way, prolific and successful referrers can also be tracked.

Referrals can make your job a lot easier. With fewer, high-quality applicants to go through, you can get to interviewing and hiring much quicker. Nobody knows your culture and requirements better than your colleagues, so why not let them get involved in the recruitment process? By keeping the process simple and rewarding employee participation, implementing a referrals program can be pretty easy.

Is an employee referrals program the most effective way to recruit? was last modified: August 12th, 2016 by Orla Hodnett
Topics


Still managing candidates manually?

Discover an easier way



Recruiting software that helps
you find and hire the best candidates.

Start your 14 day free trial now