How to Select Your Employee Referral Technology

How to Select Your Employee Referral Technology

Tawfiq Abu-Khajil
July 11, 2024
2 min read
What is “employee referral technology”?
Employee referral technology refers to the solutions or platforms being used to streamline and enhance the process of employee referrals within an organization.

Employee referral programs have proven to be one of the most-effective ways to find and hire new employees. Data shows that employee referrals lower recruitment costs, reduce time-to-hire and increase employee retention. 

As organizations invest in employee referral programs, the selection of the right technology to administer the program is crucial to its success. As you navigate through the options on which technology to choose, we outline several points to take into consideration. 

The Options 

Typically, there are two types of technology options available. The first option is utilizing a referral module or feature within your ATS or sometimes CRM. The second is using an employee referral software that integrates with both your ATS and HRIS. 

At first thought, the first option might seem like the obvious one since it exists within the platform your teams use daily, but there are more considerations to take into account if you want to ensure long-term success and scalability of your referral program. So when considering the right referral solution, ask yourself the below questions. 

Are your ATS and HRIS two separate systems? 

If your ATS and HRIS are two separate systems – and you choose to go for an ATS referral module to administer referrals, you will still end up with a tracking nightmare. This is because while the ATS module helps you track which employee referred which hired referral, it will not be able to track the payouts component of a referral program and you will have to track those manually via spreadsheets. 

This only becomes even more complicated because each time you run payroll, you’ll have to manually check if both the referrer and the new employee are still active at the company during the time of payment – which could be up to 3 different times per referral hire as you offer partial reward payments (ie. 30, 60, 90 days after a referral hires’ start date). 

Now, let’s say your ATS and HRIS are under one centralized platform and your referral module allows you to track payouts too. Think about the below.

What type of workforce do you have? 

A big factor to take into consideration is the type of workforce you have. While corporate employees will easily navigate through an ATS or HRIS referral module, research shows that your deskless workforce will rarely interact with such systems due to not having access to a PC or laptop at work. Yes, while they could use a phone-browser to log in, the friction is too high for someone in the field to have to go through. 

Employee referral solutions that aren't mobile-first will fail to achieve the right engagement results by your deskless workforce as these employees heavily rely on mobile devices for communication and information. By neglecting mobile functionality, choosing an ATS or HRIS referral module (or even a web-based referral solution) excludes a significant portion of your workforce and will, therefore, damage your employee referral program’s results. 

Mobile-app vs Text-to-Refer? 

At this stage, if you have separate ATS–HRIS systems or a deskless workforce, you probably realize that choosing a mobile-first employee referral software is crucial to your program’s success.  However, there are two types of mobile solutions you could choose. The first requires your employees to download a mobile app but the second type doesn’t and is mainly driven via text messages.   

While both options might seem helpful for deskless employees, not every employee will be open to downloading another app on their phones, which is another hindrance to the effectiveness of the referral program. Additionally, a number of enterprise security policies disallow any external mobile apps to be downloaded on company phones. Therefore, it is important to consider a platform that offers a text-to-refer experience with no mobile apps needed and a 15 second referral process. 

See how Eqo can help you offer a frictionless text-based referring experience for your deskless workforce.

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