How can my company implement an employee referral program?

An employee referral program is an excellent way to build company culture and recruit the best talent within your employees’ networks. Active employees already know what it takes to succeed at your company, so they are best to judge who would be the best fit. Creating and implementing a successful referral program takes a little […]

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An employee referral program is an excellent way to build company culture and recruit the best talent within your employees’ networks. Active employees already know what it takes to succeed at your company, so they are best to judge who would be the best fit.

Creating and implementing a successful referral program takes a little more thought than just telling employees you are looking for someone to fill a job position. If you follow the four practices below, you will not only hire the best talent but you will hold on to them as well.

Incentivize:

Although rewarding an employee with a cash bonus is a good incentive, it is not always possible, especially when you are the owner of a small business. If the purse strings are tight, consider giving the referring employee a paid day off or a reserved parking spot. You could also give employees a big shout-out on social media or in the company’s emailed newsletter. Being recognized for their effort is often enough to encourage employees to refer their friends and former colleagues for a job position.

Set Up Some Guidelines:

If you do choose to offer a cash incentive, provide rules in your employee referral program that hired referrals must be an active employee for a certain number of days before you hand over the cash prize. For example, a common policy is that referrals have to be employed for 90 days until the referrer receives their cash bonus. This helps to ensure that employees are sending the best talent in the marketplace.

Make It Easy:

It’s important for your employees to be aware of your referral program and are familiar with your company’s program guidelines. Make it simple for your employees to be aware of job openings, how to refer candidates through your applicant tracking system (Zenefits uses Greenhouse, and how to post jobs on their social media channels to broadcast the positions to their network.

Make It Happen:

If referrals represent the best recruiting channel, why not proactively work it as you would any other recruiting channels? Don’t just sit back and wait for referrals to come to you. Prospect” employees for referrals, and target your best performers first. Top performers often know top performers, so ask them for referrals – often!

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