How to Leverage Employee Referrals Effectively

Part of building a successful company is hiring good employees.  As any business grows, more positions become available and companies are left with the task of finding quality candidates.  When it comes to looking for new hires, the first step should always be to ask existing employees for any referrals.  Research has shown that getting a referral is cheaper, faster, and generally produces a better candidate.  How can companies encourage more referrals among employees?  The answer lies in developing a great referral program that will turn your workforce into a group of recruiters. 

Create a Company Culture that Cultivates Referrals

If you want your employees to refer good candidates you need to create a work culture that is enjoyable.  Employees who are happy at work are much more likely to refer friends and colleagues.  Furthermore, you need to keep your employees informed about positions that open up and what qualities you are looking for in a candidate.  You also need to treat them as you would a recruiter and send them updated analytics and newsletters.

Offer Incentives

People are motivated by rewards and it’s no different when it comes to employee referrals.  Consider offering incentives that will get employees excited about recruiting.  Cash and bonuses are always a great incentive, but you could even add a more visual element by displaying prizes like a flat-screen TV or a picture of a vacation.  This is a great way to build momentum and motivate employees.

Look Beyond Your Employees

Your recruiting opportunities don’t have to be limited to employees alone.  You can extend your referral program to vendors, customers, contractors, or even former employees.  Leveraging this network can increase your competitive advantage.

Make the Most of Social Media

It’s no secret that our society spends countless hours on social media.  These social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are full of family, friends, and potential co-workers.  Encourage employees to operate professional accounts with accessible profiles so job seekers can contact them.

Think Long Term

Even if there are no current positions open, encourage employees to send information about quality candidates.  Keep this information in a database that you can easily search through.  Months down the road when a position does open up you will be glad you have a database of talented candidates readily available.