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12 Days of Staffing Tips – 7. A Fresh Take on Referrals

Referrals are awesome. They reduce time to hire, produce employees that stay longer, have a positive impact on employee engagement, and can cost less to recruit. A formal employee referral program likely is or has been in place at your company. But, many programs fail to achieve the desired result due to the following reasons: 

  • Your process is overly complex (i.e. refer candidate, if they get hired you have to wait 90 days to get a referral bonus that is tired over the next 6 months).

  • You fail to build buzz around the program.

  • Your rewards for referrals are not very significant.

  • You have employees focus on quantity over quality which dilutes the pool and strains your resources.

  • You do a poor job of communicating the types of candidates you are looking for and the positions that are currently available.

Why not take a fresh approach to the incentive piece of the referral program? For a lot of your employees, a $10 gift card is not a very exciting incentive. Even a $100 reward may not be enough to get everyone’s attention. But, a single reward equal to your quarterly budget for employee referrals can have some real power. Whether it’s $500, $1,000, or $5,000, big numbers get noticed and can have a real impact on participation. 

When you are looking at just one large bonus for the top referer, you have the opportunity to gamify the process, build buzz around the program, demand a focus on quality, and make it part of your daily planning and meetings. 

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