Who should own the Employee referral program: TA or HR?

Who should own the Employee referral program: TA or HR?

Tawfiq Abu-Khajil
December 14, 2023
2 min read
What do you mean own it?
Taking ownership means leading, managing, and being accountable for the Employee Referral Program's success by driving its direction, execution, and outcomes.

The debate around ownership of the Employee Referral Program often centers on the approach: a project-oriented strategy favored by the Talent Acquisition (TA) team versus the process-centric view embraced by Human Resources (HR). Here's why TA's project-oriented mindset brings substantial advantages:

1. Treating it as a Project vs. a Process

TA's Approach:

The TA team sees the Employee Referral Program as a dynamic project. This means they're flexible and quick to adapt to changes in how they find new employees. They’re always looking for new and better ways to make the program work.

HR's View:

On the other hand, HR tends to see the referral program as a set process. While this brings consistency, it might sometimes make it harder to quickly respond to changes in how they adapt the program to find and hire great talent.

2. Personal Investment in Program Success

TA's Involvement:

For the TA team, the success of the referral program is personal. If the program does well, they do well. This motivates them to actively make sure the program works smoothly and brings in good candidates.

HR's Broader Focus:

HR looks after many parts of the company, not just hiring. They care about the referral program but might not focus on it as intensely as the TA team. Their attention is divided among different areas of HR.

3. Insight-Driven Customization of Incentives

TA's Perspective:

The TA team knows which jobs are harder to fill. They use this insider knowledge to offer higher bonuses for those jobs. This helps them attract better candidates for the roles that need them the most.

HR’s Broader Outlook:

HR has a broader view of the company's needs. While they acknowledge the importance of the referral program, their attention is spread across various HR functions. This might sometimes limit their focus on specific role-based incentives within the program.

In conclusion, entrusting the ownership of the Employee Referral Program to the Talent Acquisition team empowers companies to strategically elevate their talent acquisition efforts. TA’s leadership ensures a seamless alignment of the program with the company’s culture, goals, and evolving recruitment needs.

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