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Actual Ways to Boost Your Employee Referral Program

Actual Ways to Boost Your Employee Referral Program

by June 21, 2016

Employee referral programs are getting good press recently and the reasons are hard to ignore:

  • 74% of recruiters said the best quality candidates come from employee referrals
  • 51% of employers say referred hires a better fit culturally and match values better than other hires
  • Employees referred by other employees stay with organizations longer
  • Time to hire for employee referred candidates is 55% faster than candidates sourced elsewhere

Finding skilled talent that fits with your culture can be difficult, but as these statistics show, your employees hold some answers. Structured or not, emphasizing referrals to your already skilled workforce can quickly reap some benefits. These steps might be the little push needed to see big results.

Meet with Marketing

Branding isn’t just about color schemes and logos. It’s a reputation of products or services, morals, values and, more recently, employment. Consumers have choices and so do job seekers, which means companies have to make conscious efforts to show their best light to both prospective audiences. Your recruiters know candidate experience, HR knows employee happiness, but marketers?

They’re experts in branding, how to highlight positives and what it takes to keep something top of mind. Bringing marketing in on the referral program will help guide employees on how to best represent your company. Additionally, because it’s easy to get lost in the everyday bustle, marketing will know what type of campaigns can help employees remember that there’s a program at all. This is great news, too, since 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying for the job.

Discuss Openings in the Open


If employees don’t know about open positions, how are they supposed to even begin thinking about their personal network? Ensure openings go farther than just their respective departments and be upfront with training or skills necessary to the job. Those little clues are what jog memories and will bring contacts to an employee’s mind. Make sure the referral program itself is common knowledge, too. Whether it’s structured or not, employees should be reminded just how important they could be to building skilled, happy teams. GoDaddy distributed mirrors featuring the phrase, “This is what a GoDaddy recruiter looks like,” to employees so each member has a reminder of the referral program right at their desk.

Recognize Top Referrers


Depending on the size of your organization, this could be anything from a cash reward to a smaller thank you. This is a completely customizable action your company can make that will have huge return. If a cash reward is too much, consider gift cards, PTO, lunch or even branded (but useful) swag. Referrals aren’t a requirement, so showing the employee you appreciate their efforts will leave them feeling great as well as show their colleagues how thankful the company is for introductions to good hires. If you have people constantly referring great employees into the organization, perhaps you should work out a rewards and recognition program that helps them understand just how valuable their contribution is!

Pose the Answer in the Form of a Question

Let your employees be Alex Trebek and provide the answers to your questions. You need a new social media manager, right? Instead of giving your employees the job description or title (a.k.a. The answer), ask employees who is the best local social media guru they know. Google uses this approach to “nudge” their workforce into remembering who makes up their networks. Given that our first response is generally our best answer, this idea is actually quite genius.

An added bonus is that this creates a broader network and employer brand, making your organization a “sticky” place to be. When your employees are encouraged to share their networks and build out their professional reputation, they feel valued and connected, leading to an overall more engaged workforce.

The importance of employees to a company really doesn’t have to be explained. There are countless reasons why, but none of them really need to be discussed because as a leader, you know whose work keeps the lights on. Employees are your company. There’s just no way around it. That’s why countless resources go into finding the best people to join the ranks.

About The Author
Christine Marino
Christine is the Chief Revenue Officer of Click Boarding, LLC, a company that offers employee onboarding software and solutions. She is responsible for the sales, marketing and business development strategies. Leveraging her 18+ years of experience in the Human Capital Management space, Christine drives company growth through strategic partner relationships as well new customer acquisitions across the small to large enterprise markets.

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