Well-designed employee referral programs deliver incredible results. For many employers it’s the most effective sourcing tool available, reducing the time and the cost of finding talent. Yet, few organizations maximize the opportunities that motivate employees to make quality referrals.
To increase the volume of high-quality employee referrals in your organizations, consider these five approaches:
1. Develop internal brand ambassadors
According to Gallup, only 41% of employees understand what their company stands for and what makes their company’s brand stand out among the competition. That’s bad news if you’re relying on employees to amplify your brand message and refer potential hires to your company. Help employees become more effective brand ambassadors by communicating what your brand represents and the value it provides to your customers, and your employees.
2. Use the right motivation tools
Offering cash rewards is a popular way to incentivize employees to make referrals, but it’s not always the most effective. To find the right motivation tools for your employee referral program, start by considering why your employees stick with you in the first place. For instance, a recent APA survey revealed that 67% of employees stay in their jobs because of work-life fit. The reason people stay with your organization may be the motivator that compels them to refer candidates to you.
3. Don’t guess, use data
Of course, you can speculate on how to motivate employees to make referrals, or you can just get the facts. Survey referring employees and ask what motivated them to make their last referral, and also check in with non-referring employees to figure out what’s stopping them from participating in your employee referral program. Another approach is to gather best practices and benchmarking datat from other companies.
4. Formalize your employee referral program
If you shoot-from-the-hip when it comes to your employee referral program, you’ll be disappointed. You can’t assume employees will make referrals as a natural part of their job function. They won’t. Invest in developing a formal program with clearly defined motivators and processes, as well as meaningful metrics to quantify success.
5. Try, and then try again
Your employee referral program is as unique as your corporate culture. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all employee referral program to un-package and implement. You’ll need to develop a customized program that fits your organization. Also recognize that a program that worked well before, may not work in the future. Motivators will shift and your company will evolve, which naturally means your program will need to change. Build the program, try it, and tweak it along the way to maximize your results.