An “Employee Referral Program” provides a platform by which an employee can refer his or her acquaintance for a possible professional opportunity. The premise on which it is based hovers around the belief that an employee has the best insight about his/her organization; it’s values culture and work processes. This enables the employee to refer the right candidate for a potential opportunity. The entire process is mutually beneficial for the employee and the organization.
Many organizations have this program, but it has its own challenges when it come s to execution or implementation in true sense. Let’s delve on the below points by which we can improve the program execution:
- Refer-for-the-team should be the primary incentive – the employees should firmly believe that the team which has the best players has the greatest possibility to win and hence they should recommend the best candidate as their co-worker. This encouragement should be given by the manager/human resources function to the employees continuously.
- Prioritize your jobs – do not load the entire burden on the employees for referrals for the jobs which can be easily filled up through other sources. Instead, prioritize the jobs which are high on impact and can give large ROI to the Organization.
- One may settle for names only — often top employees do not have the time to thoroughly research and to capture a resume from a hot prospect. In those cases, you can capture the basic details such as names / phone number. Depending on the thrust for hiring for any function or driving diversity hiring agenda, you can run a special program or a campaign to attract referrals. For eg: when the Organization is focusing ramping up its sales force, it can encourage its employees to share basic details of people they meet from the sales function in the market. In such cases you may consider relatively lower referral bonus.
- Reference referrals – this approach emphasizes approaching the top references of last year’s top hires as referral sources. They may be thanked for their helpful reference on an official platform and asked if they “know anyone else equally as qualified”.
- Onboarding referrals — make it a regular part of onboarding to highlight the employee referral program and to provide new hires with a referral information kit.
- There are certain areas that you must cover in-order to run the program effectively like – never delay the payouts. In fact, it should be done within first 3 months of joining. You should create opportunities to advertise the program to all employees periodically. Too many rules and restrictions may be avoided. If an organization is having grade-wise payout for all referrals, you can also consider giving an extra bit for any critical positions that you may trying to hire. This additional reward can be announced on a case to case basis.
- Continuously measure the efforts that you put in to attract referrals – The overall percent of hires who came from referrals, workforce participation rate, quality of referred hires etc.
Go on and make it happen. A referral program is a powerful tactic in your hiring arsenal. It’s time to refurbish the program, look at the metrics and how we can be more effective at hiring talent and more efficient in engaging employees to drive the right people to your Organization.
By – Sanchit Sinha, Head – HR at Writer Corporation,