The Keys to Success: Eliminate These Employee Referral Program Killers
Employee referral programs are consistently rated as the top driver of successful, quality hires. According to CareerBuilder, “82 percent of employers rate employee referrals above all other sources for generating the best return on investment.” Research performed by Glassdoor revealed that “referrals are the most successful source of hire.”
So why do some employee referral programs fail? It’s not because referrals don’t work – both data and experience prove otherwise. If your referral program is floundering, it’s because the program itself is flawed. Here are the top employee referral program killers and how to eliminate them.
The Reasons Referral Programs Fail
Employee referral programs have been around for a while in various different forms. In fact, many programs were developed before today’s technology-driven improvements even existed, and they’re stuck in the dark ages as a result. Is your program struggling because of outdated processes or misconceptions? Here are the signs of a sub-optimal program:
[Related Insight: Your Employee Referral Program Can (and Should) Do Better!]
It Values Quantity Over Quality
Employee referrals lead to successful hires only when the program prioritizes quality over quantity. It’s easy for employees to blast out an email to anyone in their contact list, but without personal attention and discernment, that’s unlikely to result in a quality hire. Employee referrals work best when they come from trusted sources who’ve pre-vetted candidates for skill and culture fit.
If your incentive plan for referrals is leading to a flood of under-qualified, poorly-considered referrals, consider retooling it to place a higher value on candidates who make it past the first stages of the referral process. Not only does emphasizing quantity over quality lead to lackluster results, it feeds into the second sign of an outdated referral program.
It Takes Too Much Time
Does your HR department groan whenever the employee referral program is mentioned? That’s a strong indicator that your program is broken. Outdated referral processes place a huge burden on HR and recruiters, who have to sift through mounds of referrals just to find a few qualified candidates to follow up with. Even worse, an outdated program can result in referrals that lack follow through entirely.
As Adams Keegan notes on their blog, “Ignoring a referral can frustrate employees who have stuck out their proverbial necks. If you’re not respectful, you could be looking for two employees instead of one.” This is where technology can provide major assistance – a modern referral program should automate responses so that no referral opportunity is left behind. A program that automates redundant work keeps both employees and HR engaged in the process.
It Isn’t Mobile
This is another area where technology has shifted the referral program landscape in incredible ways. It’s no secret that today’s job searches happen online, and often through mobile devices. Shouldn’t your referral program be mobile as well?
Because employee referral programs hinge on their ability to leverage current employee’s social networks, they’re a natural fit for mobile recruiting technology. When you put the tools to make referrals into your employee’s hands, you’re optimizing the reach and results of your referral program. As Recruiter notes, “Optimize your (program) for mobile, and you’ll be offering a great experience for employees willing to refer a quality hire on the go.”
It Isn’t Engaging
What good is a referral program if your employees forget it exists? In order to succeed, a program needs to stay front-of-mind and engaging. That’s why open communication and employee incentives are a vital part of a healthy referral program.
Program administrators should “communicate with referred candidates every stage of the process… Similarly, let the employee referring them know what’s up,” RecruitingDaily explains, “Assuming there’s some sort of incentive in place, they’ll be as curious as the candidate.” Incentives also get stale, so make sure your incentive program includes a regular rotation of compelling reasons to stay engaged.
We’ve Got The Keys to Success
If you can eliminate the referral killers described above, you’re well on your way to implementing a program that will live up to the hype. The benefits of a successful referral program are worth it: increased employee retention, faster time to hire, a robust pipeline of qualified talent whenever a position opens, and fewer headaches for HR and recruiters than other methods of talent acquisition.
[Related Insight: Sources for Talent Acquisition: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly]
Here’s the great news: JobShakers has updated the employee referral program to specifically address these recruiting pain points (and more) and provide employers with everything they need to manage a program that drives results. The JobShakers platform offers a turnkey approach that eliminates the administrative burden associated with traditional referral programs, helping you get ahead of labor shortages and reduce turnover. Our cloud-based technology is mobile-enabled and matches the high-tech expectations of today’s mobile-friendly, socially-conscious workforce. With automated notifications for employees and referred candidates, it eliminates the black hole of referrals and keeps all parties engaged in the referral and hiring process so that HR and recruiters can focus their energy where it matters most.
Are you ready to eliminate the referral program killers that are holding you back? Contact us today – we’ve got the keys to success.