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Top 7 Technical Features a Digital Employee Referral Program Must Have

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1. Mobile Referral App

Employees will make a large number of referrals if the process is simplified to just a click of a button. Since the majority of employees will likely access the employee referral program from a mobile application, this is why you should make sure that a mobile referral app is included with the software.

The app must be intuitive and easy-to-navigate. Employees should be able to receive push notifications when job openings are available and easily make referrals, to gain access to status updates and other elements of the referral program from the convenience of their smartphones.

2. Gamification

Gamification refers to using game principles and design elements within various non-game applications and contexts. It is used within employee referral programs to boost usage rates and employee engagement within the employee referral process. Make sure that the employee referral program that your organization selects uses a heavy amount of gamification to encourage competition among employees and thus increases both the amount and the quality of referrals.

One popular aspect of gamification is appreciation. When an employee provides your company with a referral, they need to receive positive feedback after taking this action. This appreciation could be provided with reward points or other incentives that will push the employee to make further referrals in the future. An employee referral program should also offer creative prizes to reward employees participation in the employee referral process, regardless if their submitted referrals are hired.

3. Reward Shop

As mentioned above, an employee referral program should be provided with notable rewards that will incentivize employees to continue making referrals. Therefore, make sure that you choose one that provides a premium reward shop, that is also intuitive and simple to use.

Even though many companies use only monetary rewards for their referral programs, it has been found that non-monetary incentives, such as social recognition, vacation or trip, can be much more effective. When identifying an efficient reward shop, focus on:

  • Rewarding quality over quantity
  • Making the rewards fun
  • Providing recognition for effort
  • Providing some form of feedback
  • Encouraging participation from all employees
  • Providing a collective reward to the department with the highest referrals’ number
  • Setting monthly or quarterly goals

Firstbird provides a Guide to Rewards. Find out what actions you should be rewarding, how you should reward and what you should offer as a reward in this handy guide.


Another top requirement you should make sure of when buying an employee referral program is the ability that the software has to match employees with open positions. It means that employees should be informed of job offers that are relevant to them and their networks.

In addition to this, an excellent referral program will also allow for employees to add additional matching options: it should be possible for the employee to send a posting for the job to any connection via email, social networks or a simple link share.

5. Traceability of Referrals

Referral tracking should be a key feature of any employee referral program you are considering implementing. Make sure that all information related to the employee referral process is clearly displayed, easy to understand and that referral tracking offers real-time communication.

An employee referral program should provide the following information: the referring employee, the channel over which the candidate applied and a privacy acceptance stamp. It is also essential that the referral program incorporates a feedback loop so that the recruiters can provide information to the employees on the status, quality and outcome of their referral.

6. Engagement

Once you have successfully launched and onboarded your employees to your referral program, it’s important that you drive engagement with Talent Scouts and employees who may be able to provide regular referrals. Therefore, you should make sure that the employee referral program you select provides you assistance in boosting employees’ engagement.

It includes regular performance calls that analyze the efficacy of the program and determine what steps can be taken to improve engagement. Look for programs that offer at least 3-6 months of these calls. Several programs will offer ongoing consulting to assist you in strengthening your employee engagement. With software like Firstbird, ongoing consulting is available in the higher tiers of the program.

7. Technical Services

Another requirement for an efficient employee referral program is good technical service provided both during the integration of the employee referral program and later in assisting the users in solving technical issues that occur along the way. Download Firstbird Buyer’s Guide To Employee Referral Programs to find out which services employee referral providers should offer.

Furthermore, The Buyer’s Guide To Employee Referral Programs includes an evaluation worksheet that is divided into 5 sections containing top features available through Firstbird that a successful employee referral must have to bring in quality referrals from your employees. The five basic categories of ERP tool requirements include:

  • Basic requirements
  • Rewards and user engagement
  • Integration to ATS and application workflows
  • User management
  • Data privacy and compliance
Did you know there are another 6 requirements regarding the support service that a provider of an employee referral program should offer? Download our Buyer’s Guide to read all about them!

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