How to Build an Employee Referral Program with Staying PowerAn Employee Referral Program that Sticks

How to Build an Employee Referral Program with Staying Power

We sing the praises of employee referral programs a lot. But what’s not to love? We’re passionate about the ability of referral programs to help HR and recruiting professionals turn their employees into an army of recruiters. Not only do they reap the benefits of a motivated team working by their side, they experience a host of other benefits of hiring by referral, including pre-vetted candidates, faster time-to-hire, higher employee engagement, and better retention rates. And in today’s difficult recruiting climate, referrals can even help overcome talent shortages! Like we said, what’s not to love?

You don’t have to just take our word for it, either. Many industry sources support the efficacy of employee referral programs, including Glassdoor, whose research studies have consistently found referrals to be the “most successful source of hire.” Human Resources Today has released statistics demonstrating that referrals “have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate” and referred employees “have greater job satisfaction and stay longer” in their new positions.

[Related Insight: Looking for Exceptional Candidates? Engage Passive Job Seekers]

A Referral Program that Sticks

But enough about the benefits of hiring by referral. There must be a downside, right? Well, that depends on how you look at it.

One concern we sometimes hear from HR and recruiting professionals is “How can we make our referral program stick?”. They’re worried that the initial benefits of hiring by referral will fade over time as employees lose interest, the program becomes stale, or the work required to run the program begins to pile up on their desks. We understand that hesitation, and here’s what we tell them.

There are three pillars that sustain a thriving employee referral program over the long term:

Easy Adoption

The hardest part of any new workplace initiative is usually the very beginning. That’s because there are barriers to engagement that need to be navigated or removed. The same is true for an employee referral program. In order to achieve success out of the gate, it needs to be easy for employees to get educated, engaged, and motivated.

To give your referral program staying power, you’ll need a streamlined adoption process that rewards employees who take the leap. A well-designed program will be intuitive to onboard, and since employees and job seekers are both likely to use their phone as part of their search, your employee referral program should be mobile as well. The easier it is to log on and make a referral, the more pre-vetted candidates you’re likely to get, so the simple approach will pay off with long term results.

[Related Insight: The Keys to Success: Eliminate These Employee Referral Program Killers]

Ongoing Engagement

In order to succeed, a referral program needs to stay front-of-mind and engaging. When an employee meets or speaks with a potential candidate, they should automatically think to offer a referral. That’s why frequent reminders and rotating incentives are a vital part of creating a culture of engaged employee referrals.

Every time a new position opens up, employees should be notified through your referral platform. It’s a functional way to remind them of their referral power and also educate them about open positions for which they could be referring their friends or contacts.

Incentives are also vital to long term employee engagement. We all want our work to be noticed and validated, so a healthy referral program should provide rotating incentive options (check out these ideas for creative and compelling incentives) to those who refer qualified candidates.

Automated Follow-Through

Last but certainly not least, to avoid the wear and tear that can bring an employee referral program grinding to a halt, it should automate the back end work that gives HR and recruiters headaches.

Candidate experience is the new gold standard for the hiring process, and referred candidates should be given special attention. Not only do they have a personal connection to your company (through their contact who made the referral), but the manner in which you engage with each candidate contributes to or detracts from the success of your referral program as a whole. That’s why it’s important to acknowledge each candidate and keep them appraised of their status throughout the application process. Automated responses will help you keep on top of the details while you focus on the big picture.

Let JobShakers Do the Heavy Lifting

You know what’s even better than building your own employee referral program? Letting us do it for you! Our streamlined, mobile referral platform provides everything you need to implement a successful referral program with staying power.

JobShakers intuitive interface allows employees to refer qualified candidates with a simple drag-and-drop, and with push notifications and rotating incentive options, it’s easy to keep them engaged. With automated responses that keep applicants and employees in the loop, HR and recruiters can focus on reaching the right applicants and filling positions fast.

Ready to learn more about our referral program with staying power? Contact us today!

By |2017-09-11T14:25:58+00:00September 11th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

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