Training Your Employees to Power a Thriving Employee Referral Program
The power of a thriving, well-implemented employee referral program is well documented. Companies who invest in developing their best and brightest employees as frontline recruiters in the war for talent have numerous advantages, including the ability to overcome talent shortages in highly competitive industries like healthcare and construction. In addition, employee referrals have demonstrated benefits such as pre-vetted candidates, a faster time-to-hire, higher engagement from existing employees, and better overall employee retention rates.
Why aren’t more companies taking advantage of these benefits? Because of the misplaced fear that an employee referral program takes a lot of work to maintain. The reality is that the right referral program solution makes it easy to train your employees to power a thriving referral program. Here’s how:
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Make it Easy to Get Started
Referral program adoption is the first roadblock that some companies encounter. The Modern Recruiter notes that HR’s “biggest priorities are to make it as easy as possible for employees to make referrals and to make the system as transparent as possible” when building a successful referral program. To encourage initial adoption, “make it meaningful to employees. Show them how they have the ability to make an impact on your company and what you’ll be able to accomplish if you meet your hiring goals.”
While understanding the impact of high-quality referrals is a great way to create meaning, providing incentives is the most powerful way to encourage employee adoption and participation. There are several creative ideas for employee referral program engagement tactics that are worth exploring. An employee’s first referral should always earn them an intriguing incentive – whether it’s a cash bonus, a gift card, or public recognition – so that early adoption and continued participation becomes the norm.
Make it Mobile
Accessibility is key because making a referral should be intuitive and reflexive, like a handshake. When a new position opens or a new contact occurs, your employee referral program must be easily accessible to become part of the conversation. There’s no better way to streamline the referral process than to make it mobile.
The Society for Human Resources Management endorses the mobile recruiting approach. Reflecting on an interview with Kara Yarnot, an executive consultant and recruiting industry leader, SHRM urged companies to “make sure [their] referral process is mobile-friendly” and streamlined. “Keep any process under three clicks, if possible, Yarnot said.” A simple, accessible referral platform that only requires a few pieces of information to start the referral process encourages employees to make more referrals and keep your talent pipeline full.
[Related Insight: Reaching Today’s Mobile-Minded Job Seekers]
Encourage Brand Advocacy
An active employer brand is a vital necessity in today’s competitive and candidate-centric recruiting climate. And while employee referrals contribute to the development of a healthy employer brand, your employees can’t create something out of nothing. Be sure to equip them with the tools they need to advocate for your company with potential candidates.
Encourage employees to share their positive experiences at work on social media platforms and to tag your company in their posts. Create simple guidelines that make it clear that their voices matter. By empowering your trusted employees to share your brand with others, you engage them as brand advocates and recruiters at the same time, increasing their engagement and their ability to create positive change in the workplace.
Keep Communication Ongoing
An accessible referral program makes it easy for employees to share open positions with their contacts and initiate referrals, but some employees may not feel immediately comfortable with the process of making referrals. As social recruiting professional Kes Thygesen acknowledges in Entrepreneur, “employers can’t assume [employees] all know how to become excellent recruiters overnight.” He recommends that companies “educate staff members by providing them with employee-referral toolkits.”
Providing guidance on how to start a conversation about an open position, how to articulate the company’s goals and vision, and how to offer to make a referral will help employees better understand the referral process and their important role within it. Frequent reminders about open positions and available incentives encourage continued participation and keep the lines of communication open. In addition, once a referral is made it’s important to keep both the referred party and the employee who initiated the referral appraised of the status of that referral.
Embrace an All-in-One Solution
Does this sound like a lot to add to your already full plate? Choosing a comprehensive employee referral solution can remove the heavy lifting from program implementation and maintenance. With the right referral partner, companies can experience the full benefits of a thriving referral program without any of the hassles.
JobShakers’ mobile referral platform includes a streamlined referral process and a built-in incentive program so that employee adoption and participation are strengthened from the start. We provide training materials to ensure ease-of-use and a stress-free implementation period, alongside automated notifications about open positions and incentives to keep your program front-of-mind.
With JobShakers, it’s never been easier to train your employees to power a thriving referral program! Contact us to learn more and harness the benefits of employee referrals today.