There are lots of ways to source great candidates, but many employers overlook one of the most efficient and successful opportunities: their current employees. While employee referrals may have a smaller reach than other recruiting methods, referred candidates are typically higher quality, and a better fit.
Here are the keys to creating a great employee referral program:
Share the hiring plan
Recruiting can be hard work – so it may surprise you to realize just how much your employees will want to help once you let them in on your hiring goals. The fact is, everyone likes to have a say in who they’re going to be working with. Make it a team effort. Set aside some time to explain the hiring plan, current openings and how filling these roles will make your employees’ lives easier.
Make it easy to share job postings
The easier it is for your employees to share your job posting – whether via email, social media or text – the more likely they are to do it. Don’t make them search through your company’s career site, and don’t give them a dauntingly long URL to copy and paste. Look for a program provider that automatically alerts your team members with share-ready updates at regular weekly or monthly intervals, or whenever a new job is posted.
Incentivize your employees
The most common – and one of the most effective – incentives for employees to refer someone is a cash bonus if their referral ends up getting the job. Still, this may provide less than the desired motivation, as employees might only refer shoe-ins or people they know are actively looking for a new job. If you’re hoping to maximize referrals, consider a system that awards points based not only on how far referrals make it through the hiring process, but also the number of people an employee refers, or how many times they’ve shared job postings with their personal networks.
Communicate throughout the process
Job seekers hate long silences after they submit an application, and your employees are no different. If one of your team members makes a referral for an open position, keep them updated on the applicant’s progress and the hiring timetable. Job seekers don’t often apply again to employers who ghosted them in the past – and current employees who never hear back about their referrals aren’t likely to refer again.
A quick shout out during a team or department meeting can go a long way. Not only does recognition help boost morale and reward the employee who referred a friend or family member, but it reminds other employees of the referral program, and incentivizes them to take part as well.
If you don’t already have an employee referral program in place, here are 4 good reasons you should start one.