How to Increase your Employee Referral Program's Effectiveness

Tiffany Jin
Co-Founder
December 3, 2023
Blog
2 min read
What is an employee referral program?
Employee Referral Program is a "win-win" for employees & company! It encourages employees to refer candidates for job openings, earning bonuses if their referral gets hired. Cost-effective & efficient, it taps into employees' networks while keeping them engaged & motivated.

Set Outcome Goals

To make your referral program successful, it's important to set clear outcome goals. Define what you want to achieve through the program (ie. next year I want to make 30% of all my hires through referrals vs. 20% last year). By setting measurable goals, you provide direction and purpose to your program, making it easier to track progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Targeted Outreach to Employees

While having a well-designed referral program is important, it's essential to proactively promote it among your employees. Develop an outreach strategy that educates your workforce about the benefits of referrals and the overall impact on the organization. Make sure you make it easy to refer and bring the open roles straight to your employees. Leverage multiple channels such as text campaigns, email newsletters, internal social platforms, team meetings and onboarding to create awareness and generate excitement. Regularly update employees on program progress and success stories to keep the momentum going.

Identify Top Performers

Identifying and recognizing your top-performing employees in the referral program is crucial for maintaining momentum and encouraging continued participation. Regularly analyze program data to identify individuals who consistently refer high-quality candidates. Acknowledge their efforts publicly and give additional rewards for their contributions. By highlighting the employees at the top of your referral leaderboard, you not only incentivize others to follow their example but also can create healthy referral behavior.

Incorporate Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand is a powerful asset when it comes to attracting quality referrals. Make sure your referral program aligns with your brand values and reflects your company's culture. Showcase your company's mission, vision, and unique selling points to potential referrers and candidates. Employee stories are also the authentic makers of your employer brand, so encourage these referral success stories and socialize them. By incorporating your employer brand into the referral program, you create a strong connection between the program and your company's overall reputation, increasing its appeal to both employees and external candidates.

Creative Incentives

While monetary rewards are commonly used in referral programs, consider introducing creative incentives to make your program stand out. Think beyond cash bonuses and explore alternative rewards that align with your company culture and employee preferences. These could include paid time off, exclusive experiences, professional development opportunities, or even recognition and public appreciation. Tailor incentives to appeal to your employees' unique motivations, increasing their enthusiasm and participation in the referral program.

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