Kick-Starting Your Employee Referral Program


I know we say this a lot on this blog, but referrals really are one of your best candidate sources. Someone who gets hired after a referral from a friend or former colleague already has a bond with your company and staff, increasing the likeliness of retaining that person. Additionally, a 2012 CareerXroads survey found that for over 1/2 of businesses, 1 in 5 interviews with a referred candidate resulted in a hire. Clearly, there are advantages to pulling in the best and brightest from your employees’ professional circles.

Herein lies some logistical problems. How exactly do you get your employees on board and pulling in great talent? Well, for a few strategies, let’s take a look at an article from Nick Leigh-Morgan, entrepreneur and recruiting expert. The first thing that needs to happen is exposure. Make sure that everyone in your company is aware that you are hiring and seeking talented referrals from anyone who has them.  At this stage it is important to get the C-Level staff on board, just to let everyone know how important this stuff really is.

The next step is to incentivize. Sure, people want to hook up their friends and former colleagues with job opportunities, but they are also busy doing their own work. By offering cash, fancy electronics or extra vacation days; your employee referral program will get the boost it needs to be a fully effective pipeline for high quality candidates. How much incentivizing are we talking about here? Well, the article suggested thousands of dollars, but it’s really up to what your budget is like and how important this program is to your hiring efforts (which should be fairly important).

Need an employee referral guide? Check out ours: Accolo Employee Referral Guide


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