The Do’s and Don’ts of an Employee Referral Program

The Do’s and Don’ts of an Employee Referral Program

Tiffany Jin
July 11, 2024
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.

To ensure the success of your employee referral program, here are some simple and key "do's" and "don'ts."


Clearly communicate the program

It's important to have a clear and concise communication plan in place to let your employees know about the referral program. Make sure you have a defined referral policy, which includes benefits and guidelines, eligibility requirements, rewards, and the process for submitting referrals. 

Track and measure the program's success

Keep track of your program's progress by setting up a system to track referrals and their outcomes. This will help you identify what's working and what's not, and make any necessary adjustments to improve the program's effectiveness. 

Keep employees continuously engaged

To ensure the success of your employee referral program, it's important to keep employees engaged and excited about the program. This could involve consistently recognizing and rewarding employees who refer successful candidates, creating friendly competition among departments or teams, or hosting events or activities to promote the program. Remember to “meet employees where they’re at” and make it easy for them to refer by suggesting relevant features jobs through automated reminders to email, slack or text! 


Ignore diversity and inclusion

Your referral program should be inclusive and open to all employees, regardless of their background or position. Ensure that you're promoting diversity and inclusion by encouraging referrals from all employees and making sure that there are no biases or barriers in the referral process.

Create unrealistic expectations

It's important to set realistic expectations for the program's success. Don't promise unrealistic rewards or make the process too complicated, as this could discourage employees from participating. Be transparent about the program's limitations and keep your promises (especially payout time frames). 

Neglect the experience for all parties

Once an employee has submitted a referral, it's important to provide transparent and timely updates for both the candidate and employee throughout the hiring process. Keep candidates informed about their progress, provide feedback on their application and do the same for the referring employee at the same time! Keeping everyone in the loop will only make it a better overall referring experience for all involved. 

Running an effective employee referral program requires careful planning, communication, and a focus on diversity and inclusion. By taking these guidelines into consideration, you can create a program that not only encourages employees to refer their contacts, but also creates a positive overall referring experience and contributes to the overall success of your organization. Remember to track and measure the program's success, make adjustments as needed, and always prioritize transparency and fairness throughout the process.

See how Eqo can help you implement best practices for your Employee Referral Program.

Book a demo
Eqo - Employee Referral Tool