How to Encourage Employee Referrals?

There is enough data to show that employee referrals are the best source of hire, are faster and less expensive to hire. Also, candidates hired through referrals tends to stay longer and hence reduce the employee turnover rate also. However, even with these clearly authentic benefits it is still one of the most underutilized sources of hires. Recruiters fail to maximize the benefits of employee referral as they treat it as an organic source and therefore do not put in the required efforts and strategy to motivate employees to provide more great referrals. Sometimes it is the same set of 10-20% employees providing referrals while other 80% of the employees remain inactive. As a recruiter how can you change this? Let’s find out.

Make the process simple to get referrals from your employees

If you want to increase your employee referrals, you must provide an optimum user experience. The easier it is to provide and track referrals for employees, the more often will employees participate in your employee referral initiatives. While using a tool can definitely help, even if you do not use dedicated software for it, make sure to design your referral program in a way where it is easy and quick to submit a referral, track the status of the referral and track the incentives pay out. With these three main aspects taken care of, you are well on your track to improve the chances of getting referrals from your employees. However, if employees have to spend half an hour of their time to place a referral, you can be sure that it won’t attract many participants. Therefore, focus on making the process smoother and simpler in order to give your program maximum organic reach.

Also Read: Why Employee Referrals are the best source of hire?

Improve employee referral program branding to increase employee referrals

Companies with strong employer brands get more job apply and hire better quality talent. Branding has a major role to play while running an employee referral program also. Company events like job fairs, or other volunteering events, play an important role not only in improving the branding, but also impacts the synergy within employees. With such bonding, employees tend to be happier and more productive. Such activities promote positive brand awareness within the team and inculcate a desire to get their friends and professional connections to work for the company.  When there’s a company opening, employees will naturally want their connections to apply.

In addition to marketing your brand, it is also essential to market the referral activities you are conducting. Use the help of your marketing department to design campaigns that can encourage employees to participate in the referral program. Focus these campaigns on various benefits that employees can experience by getting their referrals hired in the organization. These regular email campaigns will keep the referral process top-of-mind for all employees, which makes it that much easier for them to take part in it.

Incentivize employee referrals

Offering monetary bonuses to incentivize referrals is a tried and tested method to get more referrals from employees. However, make sure that the bonuses are high enough to incentivize the work, but not so high that the ROI cannot be justified. Also, too high monetary rewards often increase the number of referrals but impact the quality of those referrals negatively. You would surely not want to screen through hundreds of profiles submitted by employees to find only one or two relevant candidates. In addition to monetary bonus, even a simple ‘thank you’ mail can go a long way towards motivating employees to continue referring candidates.  A company meeting, in a company-wide email, or on the employee referral site, there can be different channels through which you can convey this ‘thank you’ message. Other non-cash alternatives include a weekend getaway, movie tickets, a fully paid meal for family at a local restaurant, or tickets to a local event.

Gamification to increase employee engagement and referrals

Gamification inculcates a feeling of healthy competition, which if often more effective than money at driving employee engagement and participation. You can create a public leaderboard on your employee referral website to show which employees have provided the most number of referrals successfully, or reached out to the most people in their network. Such social rewards become a motivating force for employees to take continues interest in the referral program.

Also Read: Purpose of  having a dedicated employee referral program

Use technology to increase employee referrals

An automation tool like Applicant Tracking System (ATS), makes referral management very simple and efficient. You can use the ATS to create a centralized database of all the received referrals, and track them to their sources. Dedicated employee referral software, like Naukri RMS Referral is still a better option as it will provide you advanced referral management capabilities with comprehensive reports and analytics to identify the bottlenecks in your referral program and improve them.

The referral software will save you from wasting time in switching back and forth between emails to get, view, and share all the referred profiles. It will allow you to easily evaluate the performance of the program and spot areas that need improvement. Referral technology like RMS Referral requires minimal effort to setup and provides complete transparency and visibility over the performance of the referral activities and keeps the employees engaged. With its robust features, you can quickly improve the participation rate of the employees and get more quality referral candidates.