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What makes a referral program successful?

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The key to ensuring its effectiveness in attracting quality recruits is to make sure that you follow certain principles when creating your employee referral program.

Here are five simple ways to make a successful employee referral program:


1. Maintain transparency and clear communication

An important key to making employee referral programs work is to make sure that your employees know exactly what you’re looking for in candidates. Make sure that you clearly communicate your referral processes, your preferred qualifications, your job openings, and your incentives. If you fail to relay the proper information to your employees, then you may get returns that are less than ideal.


2. Don’t complicate the referral process

Complicated referral programs can be off-putting to employees. Remember that each employee has their own respective responsibilities that they need to attend to. If your employee referral programs are too complex, then the prospect of added stress will turn employees off to the idea of participating. Make a referral program that is easy to understand and is accessible to any employee, no matter how busy they are with their day-to-day tasks.


3. Give extra priority to referrals

While referred candidates don’t necessarily have to be automatic-hires, it would be better for your company to be speedy and alert when it comes to entertaining their candidacies. Even though you don’t end up hiring that employee in the end, it would be best to provide them with a good screening experience. You do not want to taint the relationship between your current employee and rejected referral.

4. Establish a feedback system on referral candidates

With this, you are essentially hitting two birds with one stone. First, you’re letting your employees know that you value their referrals and take their suggestions very seriously. Second, you’re also establishing a benchmark for any future referrals that your employees will be giving you. These feedback mechanisms will also help employees offer higher quality referrals that are more suitable to the needs of your company.


5. Offer fair compensation for successful referrals

The bedrock of any successful employee referral program is in having high levels of employee participation. If you compensate your employees fairly for bringing in quality talent to your company, then you further entice them to help you grow the organization. Be clear and fair with your incentives at the offset, and you can be assured that your employees will willingly participate in helping your company grow. Let them understand that the growth of your team benefits not only the recruitment team but also the current employees as well.


It can be intimidating to try and create an effective referral program from scratch. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Firstbird offers a comprehensive referral program for companies of all sizes which can be tailored to suit the recruitment needs of your company. If you are ready to implement a referral recruiting program for your business, learn more about Firstbird here.


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