Quick tips for a successful employee referral program


People share things they like with their friends. If employees like their current company, they recommend jobs to their family members, friends and colleagues from previous companies. Companies use employee referral to leverage this human side.

Rethink your employee referral program if it’s not working. Are you doing things right? And if you do not have an employee referral program, now is the time to build one. Use it as a part of your diverse recruitment approach. 

Read this blog to learn hacks companies have been using to get the most out of their employee referral programs.

1. Advertise your employee referral program

Advertising employee referral program

After addressing an overall lack of promotion, Dell increased its global referral hires by 50 to 125 %(SHRM). Without advertising, you will fail to reach out to many of your current employees who could recommend qualified candidates. Companies are actively addressing this issue, planning ways to promote their employee referral program and thus involve their workforce in their team-building effort. 

Send emails asking your employees to refer their friends. Include links to job descriptions explaining what you are looking for in a candidate. Conduct sessions to discuss the importance of employee referrals and how they benefit the company and its people.

2. Acknowledge good referrers

Acknowledging good referrers
Acknowledging good referrers

Employees refer to people they know and who meet the minimum requirements of the role. Hence, most of the referred candidates get hired. To consistently source candidates through employee referral, it is important to acknowledge referrers.

Make sure your employees know you appreciate their referral efforts. Appreciate top performers, reward them with cash bonuses, and publicly recognise their efforts. Make it a part of your employee referral program to keep them motivated.

3. Motivate your current employees to refer

Motivating employees to refer
Motivating employees to refer

Having a reward policy alone is not enough to get significant referrals. Alongside promoting referral programs, figure out ways to motivate your employees to take action. Identify motivation behind referrals. Accordingly, improvise your referral program.

Usually, people refer to their friends when they want to help them or their company. Figure out ways to cultivate such emotions and supercharge them through regular sessions.

4. Offer non-monetary incentives

Non-monetary incentives for employee referral

Companies make mistakes when they don’t pair experiential incentives with referral bonuses. For example, Google doubled bonuses for employee referrals from $2,000 to $4,000, but it didn’t work.  

Offer a mix of referral bonuses and experience as incentives. Offer non-monetary incentives like trips and gift vouchers.

5. Track candidate sourcing through employee referral 

If you do not track the performance of employee referral programs, you will never know what is working and what you must improve.

Set a quantifying goal to measure the success of your referral program. Analyse after every 6 months or annually to check if candidates through employee referral have increased. This way you will keep track of how much of your new initiatives and extra efforts worked. Now-a-days, recruiters use applicant tracking systems to track performance, from sourcing to screening to interviewing and selection. Consider using PyjamaHR ATS to track and analyse candidate sourced through sourcing channels to figure out improvements. 

Tracking candidate sourcing channels

Employee referral is the best way to involve your current workforce in the team-building efforts. They already know the job and your work culture. They can communicate the same to their friends in the best way possible. A mix of effective motivation sessions, monetary and non-monetary incentives help organisations turn their referral program into a great one.

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