How To Boost Your Employer Brand with a Successful Referral Program

Tiffany Jin
December 3, 2023
2 min read
What is an Employer Brand?
An Employer brand describes an employer's reputation as a place to work, and their employee value proposition. A strong employer brand distinguishes a company from competitors, fosters employee loyalty, and contributes to its long-term success. 

I believe that having a successful referral program plays a key part in contributing to a company’s employer brand. After all, the leading indicator of a strong employer brand is how strongly your employees advocate for your company as an employer of choice and what better way to put that to the test than measure how strongly they are willing to refer their network to your company? 

While most companies have a referral program, there is room for improvement when it comes to creating consistent employee engagement and channeling the positive stories into your Employer Brand. Sharing some tactical ways to do so: 

1. Show the Wins

Part of your program should involve consistent acknowledgement of employees who make successful referrals. Celebrate both the employee who made the referral and the candidate who was hired. These are great employee success stories to tell, and the more your company tells them - the more you fuel the desire for your teams to create more of them. 

Some tactical examples:

  • Social Media posts – with a picture of the 2 employees together (referrer and new hire)
  • Quarterly blog articles about referral stories at your company - here's a great example from GoTo.
  • Adding referral stories on your company-wide newsletter

2. Collaborate with your ERGs

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are valuable networks within your organization that bring together employees who share common interests or backgrounds. Working with these groups can be a powerful way to boost your referral program and brand. Have your ERG become ambassadors for your referral program and actively engage with their communities to showcase your company’s commitment to inclusivity efforts. Consistently update your ERGs on the progress made when it comes to company DEI goals and how their efforts directly impact this. 

Some tactical examples:

  • Join them in their events & raise awareness of the program in a quick segment
  • Work with members of your ERGs to become ambassadors for your referral program. 
  • Join the ride in their newsletters – add a section about referrals

3. Collect Feedback

To continuously improve your referral program, it's crucial to collect feedback from participants. Regularly seek input from employees who have engaged in the referral process. Ask them about their experience, challenges they faced, and suggestions for improvement. Additionally, by actively seeking feedback and implementing changes based on employee suggestions, you demonstrate that you value their opinions and are committed to creating a positive experience. This strengthens your employer brand as an organization that values employee input and continually seeks to improve.

Remember, an effective referral program goes beyond just sourcing candidates—it actively engages employees, fosters a culture of collaboration, and strengthens your employer brand's attractiveness in the competitive job market.

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