By Jean Roque, Trupp HR.

As described in “Boost your Recruiting ROI with Employee Referrals,” a well-planned and executed Employee Referral program has potential to consistently deliver top candidates into your recruiting pipeline. Taking the steps below will help your company to start leveraging this effective source for landing top talent.

1. Have a plan

  • Choosing the primary objectives of the Employee Referral Program (ERP) optimizes your ability to achieve the results you are seeking. Examples of objectives include increasing employee retention or quality of hire and reducing recruiting expenses or time to fill positions.
  • Establishing and messaging your ERP brand enhances your ability to create employee awareness and engagement with the program. For example, LinkedIn branded their ERP “Talent X”—drawing comparisons to the X on a treasure map.
  • Clarifying the guidelines makes it easy for employees to contribute and benefit from the program. When defining ERP guidelines, consider:
    • When will employees receive rewards?
    • Will rewards be offered for all openings and will levels vary based on how hard the position is to fill or salary range of job opening?
    • How will referrals be tracked and verified?
    • Are all employees eligible to participate and will the ERP be extended to others (i.e., former employees, vendors, partners, and customers)?

2. Make it stick

  • Simplifying the process increases employee participation. When soliciting employee assistance with applicant referrals, consider:
    • Using an applicant tracking system that includes features for social media sharing.
    • Providing employees easy access to job descriptions or referral profiles that summarize position requirements.
    • Creating referral packets so employees can easily share why your company is a great place to work (i.e., benefits, culture, values, growth opportunities).
  • Promoting the ERP program and its successes will keep the program front of mind for employees while reinforcing how the ERP is contributing to the organizational success and work environment.
  • Prioritizing referrals through the recruitment process and keeping employees informed of the recruitment status of their referrals increases likelihood for additional future referrals.

3. Keep it interesting

  • Recognizing employees for their ERP contributions increases program engagement. Consider:
    • Sharing how ERP objectives have been met. For example, “We have reduced our time to fill new positions by 2 weeks.”
    • Creating healthy competition among employees by posting number of referrals activities, using gamification or entering employees into a drawing for each referral.
  • Add variety to your rewards program by:
    • Seeking employee input on referral rewards.
    • Allowing employees to select their reward from a list of options, such as cash, paid time off, preferred parking space, donation to charity, shopping spree, etc.