7 Key Elements to Craft the Best Referral Programs.

  • Alen BubichJanuary 26 2018
Getting your staff involved in your recruitment efforts is easy - when you have a plan.

Tips for the Best Referral Program

Like anything worth doing, an employee referral program is worth doing right. It takes time to turn your program into a success, but with the tips below you’ll be well equipped and on your way towards developing your best referral program to date.

Put Someone In Charge of your Employee Referral Program

To start you’ll want to put someone specific in charge of referrals. This doesn’t have to be the person’s sole job, but someone should know it’s their responsibility to stay on top of it.

Plan Your Employee Referral Campaigns, Events, & Followups

The person in charge will want to plan campaigns and regular maintenance to encourage employees to bring in applicants.

Communication is key. Your first meeting or email should clearly outline the following:

  • An introduction the program
  • An explanation of the rewards
  • Specific details for the types of employees you are hoping to have apply
  • A period for answering any questions
  • A takeaway kit with application forms, promotional materials and tracking codes
  • making sure they understand when they’ll receive their awards.

Ideally you’ll have a place online where employees can access all of this information as needed, we suggest an employee portal.

It’s a good idea to include regular employee referral events over the course of the year.

These will serve as reminders and encouragement to participate and will give the referral leader the opportunity to get invaluable face-to-face feedback from employees about the initiative.

All referral related events should be in an area that has open access to employees, the cafeteria or break area is perfect for connecting with as many people as possible. We recommend at least 2 events per year.

Employee Referral Program Email Newsletters

In between campaigns continually engage employees. Post notices of jobs you are looking for referrals for, share names of new employees referred and the people who referred them, and consider doing contests or changing rewards. You can do all of this through a monthly email newsletter. Ideally you can post printable copies of the newsletter near high traffic employee areas to further ensure as many people as possible will see it.

Make It Part of the Culture

People who love their company want to invite others to join them at their job. “We remind them that because they’re awesome, they most likely associate with other awesome people” says Jake Budge of BambooHR. Jake goes on to share how Bamboo’s company culture makes it easier for him to acquire great talent for the company in this article on Entrepreneur.

Explain Your Target Employee

Who is the best fit for your company? You might think your employees already understand the culture, history essentials (education, experience), or other qualifications for referrals, but these things alter over time and you’ll want to remind referees before they get to work.

You’ll equally want to be sure to detail all of the benefits of working at your company for the same reasons, employees can always use a reminder to the advantages available to them.

Keep It Simple

However you decide to run your program, it must be easy for everyone involved. Employees won’t participate if you require too much information or work from them. They should be able to easily recommend someone and get regular updates about that person’s candidacy and possible rewards they are due to receive. This might also be a good place to remind you to make claiming rewards easy and to give them in a timely manner such as suggested in this article: http://recruitingdaily.com/employee-referral-program/

Go Beyond Employee Referrals

In this article by SMRH the author describes expanding your ERP (employee referral program) to others beyond your employ. Let anyone participate and receive rewards. We all have colleagues in our networks that are capable of referring others to a company they respect. Most online programs will allow for others to participate in your referral program and by expanding the program you’ll get other professionals to tap into their own networks of friends and family.

Running a successful ERP is a smart way to improve the quality of your incoming applicants, but it can’t be done when employees aren’t engaged in participating or don’t understand the benefits of referring others. Upfront the newly founded ERP program will take some heavy lifting to get rolling but it is an invaluable way to grow your company organically.

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