Companies struggle with finding new employees. The market becomes more and more candidate-centric and the best people have plenty of offers to choose from. To attract new talent, HR departments often collaborate with marketing departments, attend job fairs, or create social media campaigns to gain attention from job seekers.

A key part of a marketing campaign and company branding should be an employee referral program.

Employee referral programs (ERP) encourage your current employers to share job opportunities and recommend qualified friends, relatives, and colleagues that can become a valuable part of the company. The biggest benefit of an ERP is that people tend to refer people who have similar personalities and who share their values. If employers create teams of hard working people who can be trusted, they will not take the risk of referring someone who might destroy the reputation of the whole team.

Employees who are hired through referral programs tend to stay longer with their company – this saves money and time, as the recruiting process is time consuming. ERPs are also a benefit for current employees; they feel empowered and involved in the company’s future.

Searching for people who might be interested in a career change often involves sharing job ads on social media – Facebook, Twitter, or other portals. This results in reaching more potential candidates and increasing traffic on career sites.

An important part of the program is rewarding employees who refer a friend who got hired. Most often that reward is a referral bonus with the amount varying greatly across different industries. The best policy is rewarding employees once the referral is hired and makes it through the designated probation period as to encourage high-quality referrals.

To make ERPs work for your company, here are some tips to follow:

  • Make the program as simple as possible – if it’s not easy to follow people will not participate in it.
  • Let your employees know about the program and remind them occasionally – especially when new positions open in their teams.
  • Create easy to share and attractive information about vacancies and your company to share via social media.
  • Make sure that each candidate referred passes all requirements in your program.

Are there any negative effects of ERPs?

If the program is not working properly, and the company does not follow the rules that they created, it will result in a negative impression of the company and discourage employees to take part in it. Also, if you neglect candidates who were referred, do not contact them in a timely manner, or fail to provide feedback to the person referring, an ERP can cause the opposite result than intended.

To sum up, employee referral programs can result in a significant amount of hires using less effort than traditional recruiting processes. The most important aspect in creating a successful ERP is ensuring that it runs smoothly in order for it to be effective.

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