Are you still just hiring new employees through job boards and help wanted ads? Not to say that some rock-star candidates aren’t found using these methods, but how is that really working out for you? Hiring managers are likely familiar with the experience of putting out a job description and getting back a barrage of resumes, a select few qualified for the position, a few more with somewhat relevant experience and loads of submissions from candidates who apparently did not read your job posting at all (and did not check their spelling and grammar either). What if there was a way to make the hiring process faster, less stressful and result in a better hire? Thankfully, there is, and it’s with an employee referral program. By tapping your employees’ networks of friends and acquaintances, you have a better chance of locating top talent.
Why You Need a Referral Program in the First Place
Many candidates find jobs through the people that they know, which makes an employee referral program an effective way to find quality candidates for an organization. Here are a few more benefits of implementing a referral program for a business: 1. You can reduce company costs, resource use and time spent finding a new candidate. 2. The employees you hire will be more engaged in their jobs and will stay at the company longer. 3. Your current employees are more engaged and feel more recognized for their company contributions.
Make Sure Your Organization is Worth Referring
Before you can start gathering great referrals from employees, you have to ensure that your company is a place that employees want to refer their friends to. Professor Frederick Reichheld emphasizes this in his book The Ultimate Question. Of course, you will want to have incentives for referrals, but your company should be such a great place to work that it inspires your employees to try to recruit friends with no thought of reward. Making the employee referral program easy for employees to participate in is another way to increase its effectiveness.
Identity the Brand Evangelists
Some employees will be better are bringing in referrals than others, whether because they have a more qualified network or because they are better brand evangelists for your company. Rob O’Keefe from TMP Worldwide Advertising and Communications says that these people’s contributions should be encouraged and you should focus your efforts on them.
Offer Rewards for Referrals
Many people choose to offer monetary rewards for employee referrals that result in hires. There are different levels of complexity for reward systems, ranging from simple bonuses to bonuses based on the performance of the new employee brought in. Some companies opt to give employees a choice of what reward they would like to receive. Consider implementing a survey to find out which method would motivate your employees the most.
Try a ïPre-ferralï Program
O’Keefe also recommends trying out a ïPre-ferralï program where brand evangelists are asked to recommend their contacts even if there is no position open at the time. One drawback to employee referral programs is that finding the right candidate does not always fit into a strict schedule. This method combats that problem by helping you build up a pool of qualified candidates to draw from when you need it. It can also do great things for your brand recognition.
Market Your Referral Program
A little marketing can go a long way when it comes to the success of your employee referral program. Come up with a name, tagline and logo to attract employees to the program and increase the likelihood that they will engage with it. Make sure the program has a prominent place on your website, and celebrate its successes with events like award shows.
Remember the Candidate Experience
The candidate experience is an equally important part of any employee referral program. When you treat candidates as well as you treat customers, word spreads fast. Even if you do not intend to hire a candidate, you should treat them with the utmost respect so that they go on to tell others about your brand. You never know when you may have contact with a candidate again in the future, so it is best to make sure they have a great experience throughout the hiring process. Make better use of your employees’ connections and start bringing in quality candidates through an employee referral program. This approach engages employees, builds your brand and makes the hiring process much easier. Learn more about building a great team and other related topics using the resources on Mighty Recruiter.