Finding the ideal candidate can be very difficult and expensive through job advertisements and headhunters due to the high unemployment level. Discover how you can find the right candidates for hiring through the help of your existing employees.

What Are Employee Referrals?

If one of your clients, business partners, or an employee recommends you a possible individual to hire, the candidate comes in as a referral. The majority of such candidates are usually vetted and do not need to go through the extensive process of applying for a job. Instead, an existing employee in the organization can forward their resume to the HR or TA department, along with personal feedback on why this person would be great for the position.

The HR department makes the final decision concerning the candidate’s viability. Finding the right talent for your company through employee referrals is a proven way to improve productivity. The following is a guide on how you can boost your employee referral hiring capacity.

1. Find The Appropriate Time To Request Referrals

When exactly is the right time to start an employee referral program? How do you intend to land great candidates via referral recruiting? It is prudent to lay down hiring strategies and objectives. If you are looking to get excellent employees quickly, the use of referrals is an ideal approach for you. In fact, many companies ask their employees for referrals for open positions first before investing in more costly traditional methods. 

Looking closely at data and how your hiring process currently works and has worked in the past is an excellent idea. If advertisements and job boards have proven inefficient and expensive, it makes sense if you start looking for other avenues like referrals from the existing employees.

2. Involve Employees And Close Partners In Your Referral Program

The level at which the employees, clients, business partners, alumni, and coworkers get engaged with the process determines its effectiveness. They should understand how they can submit referrals (great technology really helps with this) and the qualifications and fit you are looking for. Allowing the staff to participate actively in hiring makes them feel valued and part of the team. 

3. Develop A Reward Program For Employees

As mentioned above, a referral program really makes staff feel like they are part of the hiring process. However, it is not a guarantee that the employees will find ideal candidates. Therefore, giving the employees incentives encourages them to continue to refer and share jobs with their networks in the long run, keeping your referral program healthy and motivating them to dig deeper and come up with a fitting candidate.

Having an employee referral bonus program is an excellent strategy to motivate workers towards making the process successful. The employees must understand the company’s terms for the incentives. The employees must be rewarded for successful hires and their smaller contributions towards the referral program. That way, an organization can benefit from a continuous stream of referrals. The incentives could be in the form of gift vouchers, holiday tickets, or extended days off, among others.

4. Make The Process Less Complicated For Employees

If the employees have an easy time submitting the referrals, then the process has a higher chance of registering incredible success. If the process becomes difficult for the employees, then the number of referrals will be low, making it challenging to find the ideal candidate. The employer can employ several employee referral program ideas, which include:

  • Actively Informing Employees

The number of ideal candidates that employees can suggest depends on their level of activity. Therefore, equipping them with an easy access digital system with an app makes it less stressful to make fruitful referrals. They should be easily able to search for information and submit referrals.

  • Requesting Only Few Information Details

With complicated referral forms, employees may be unable to submit any referrals. Therefore, it is advisable to request only relevant information about the candidates. The hiring team can contact the candidates later for further details. The user-friendliness of the program improves the chances of getting a high number of referrals.

  • Making It Digital

A digital tool will make the processes of receiving referrals and communicating with employees on the status of their referrals much more efficient. This can go a long way in boosting the rate of response. Practically, it encourages the employee to submit as many referrals as possible, and a great digital tool will also include automatic reward features. 

5. Device Mechanisms To Maximize Referrals

Employers can come up with strategies aimed at maximizing the number of referrals. With many referrals, the organization has better chances of getting a fit candidate for a particular position. The following are some of the mechanisms that can help in boosting the process.

  • Develop a culture of accepting referrals regardless of whether there are job openings or not. The method is ideal for positions that are hard to fill. If an employee suggests a particular candidate, who proves reliability, the employer should inform him or her about the absence of a job vacancy. That way, HR can later contact the candidate should an opportunity arise within the organization.
  • Maintain transparency in all communication to the employee concerning their respective referrals.
  • Give employees the details as to why their referrals were bad or good, which can help them make necessary improvements in the future.
  • The hiring team should ensure to contact the referred candidates without favor or discrimination.
  • An organization should observe timely communication with the associated candidate and the employee who submitted the referral. Employees who take the responsibility of referring a candidate deserve the courtesy of knowing how their referral is progressing.

6. Build A Persuasive Job Description

A convincing job description is one of the primary factors that an employer should accentuate in the hiring process. An organization should consider several aspects, which include.

  • Be Specific With The Job Titles

Qualified job seekers are always keen on the accuracy of the defined job title. That way, an organization has higher chances of finding the best talent if it ensures ultimate accuracy when specifying the title and the duties and responsibilities.

  • Provide An Enticing Summary About The Vacancy.

No employer would want qualified candidates to overlook his or her job offer. A captivating summary will entice any fit candidate and make referral recruiting successful.

7. Follow Up On The Employee Referrals

Every organization should have a program that helps evaluate the performance of its employees in terms of referrals. The employer can employ several HR parameters to determine the success of the referral program. They include:

  • Number Of Referrals Against That Of The Hired Candidates

An organization should have data indicating the number of candidates that have transformed into employees upon referrals compared to the total number of referred individuals. That helps to determine whether the program is successful or not.

  • Departmental Number Of Referrals

An organization will consider employing the referral program when hiring candidates to a particular department depending on how it has worked in the past. For example, if the IT department’s referrals produced many ideal individuals, the organization will have the trust to employ the program in the future.

  • Performance And Conduct Of Referred Candidates

An employer should have data showing how referred candidates have performed in their respective departments compared to other employees. The information should also indicate their retention and turnover rate to prove whether employee referrals perform better than other hiring options.

In conclusion, an organization can find the right talent for specific positions through employees’ referrals. As hard as it is to find an ideal candidate, the option of employee referrals makes successful recruiting easier.

Scroll to Top

Want extra resources, the latest case studies and tips from Firstbird?

Get exclusive content, articles and updates delivered to your inbox once a month.