Reviving Your Employee Referral Program: The 3 "E"s for Success

Tawfiq Abu-Khajil
December 3, 2023
2 min read
What is an Employee Referral Program?
An employee referral program is a recruitment strategy where current employees recommend candidates from their network for job openings, often rewarded for successful hires.

Have you ever heard someone say, "Our employee referral program isn't working"? It's a sentence that might leave you scratching your head, and rightly so. Employee referral programs are hailed as the gold standard for hiring top talent. So, when they don't deliver as expected, it's time to investigate what's missing. In most cases, it comes down to the three "E"s: Experience, Engagement, and Enticing rewards.

Experience: Make it Effortless

The referring experience needs to be seamless for your frontline employees. Gone are the days of manual forms, app downloads, and complicated logins. The key is to make it effortless for your team to refer potential candidates. When it's easy and hassle-free, your employees are more likely to participate.

Consider streamlining the referral process by implementing user-friendly solutions, such as text-based referral platforms. By simplifying the process, you remove barriers and encourage more employees to refer candidates.

Engagement: Keep the Momentum Going

An effective employee referral program isn't a one-time event. It should be a continuous, year-round initiative. To keep employees engaged, socialize the program within your organization. Use leaderboards to showcase top referrers, introduce gamification elements, send regular reminders, and offer small rewards along the way.

Engagement can also be enhanced by creating a sense of community among your employees. Encourage them to share their success stories, celebrate milestones, and foster a culture where referrals are not just a task but a shared achievement. Here are some tactical ideas on how to keep your program active throughout the year. 

Enticing: Offer Attractive Rewards

Perhaps the most critical "E" of all is making sure your referral rewards are enticing. While a $50 Amazon gift card may have sufficed in the past, the job market is evolving. To compete for top talent, your referral rewards need to be competitive.

Consider this: if you're willing to spend $5,000 to acquire a candidate through other sources, you can certainly allocate a portion of that budget to reward your employees. Offering substantial incentives not only motivates your workforce to refer quality candidates but also reflects the value you place on their contributions to the organization.

Unlocking Success with Eqo

If your employee referral program is struggling in any of these three "E"s, Eqo can help. Our solution makes the experience frictionless for your frontline employees. Our team partners with you to keep your program active throughout the year. This covers the first two “E”s: Experience and Engagement. 

Additionally, our team can assist you in creating a compelling business case to secure enticing rewards for your employees – covering the final “E”: Enticing. By recognizing the importance of the three "E"s and taking steps to address them, you can rejuvenate your employee referral program and tap into its full potential.

In conclusion, don't give up on your employee referral program just yet. Instead, focus on enhancing the experience, boosting engagement, and offering enticing rewards. With the right approach and support, your program can become the powerhouse for hiring exceptional talent that it's meant to be.

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