A strong employee referral program should be a significant part of your talent management strategy. Why? Here are some statistics from Jobvite to illustrate the ways in which employee referral programs are superior to other recruiting sources:

  • While only 6.9 percent of applications come from employee referrals, 39.9 percent of hires originate from employee referrals.
  • Employees hired through employee referral are hired 55 percent faster than those who came through a career site.
  • 46 percent of employee referrals stay for three years or more while only 14 percent of those hired from job boards stay.

Employee referral programs are less expensive to administer than other forms of recruiting, and yield much better results overall. Therefore, it makes sense to consider how to bolster your employee referral program and mine it as the rich source of talent it can be.

The Key Component of a Great Employee Referral Program

Designing a great employee referral program starts with ensuring that you first have a great work culture. After all, no amount of incentive to do so will persuade an employee to refer a good friend to your company if the employee does not enjoy working for you in the first place.

Therefore, building a strong work culture that is supportive of top talent and that provides an engaging, enjoyable, and productive work environment is the first step to creating a great employee referral program.

eBook: How to Attract Top Talent Using Inbound RecruitingFind out how to harness the power of an inbound recruiting strategy in order to attract, hire, and retain top talent.

Talent Management Strategies for Your Referral Program

The building blocks of your employee referral program rest on some best practices. Here are a few of them:

Clear, Targeted Communication: One of the most common reasons for failure with an employee referral program is a lack of communication between employees and recruiting and hiring managers. If your employees are largely unaware of open positions with your company, they have no reason to refer anyone in their network.

Here are some recommended ways to foster communication about open positions within your organization:

  • Internal job boards or intranet with posted job openings
  • Designated time during department meetings for recruiting announcements
  • Regular meetings during the onboarding process, which can be particularly useful because they set the tone for future employee referrals right off the bat

Rewards Program for Employee Referrals: Rewarding employees who refer qualified candidates is almost always a good idea. Typical ways to reward employees for referrals include:

  • Cash incentives
  • Compensation in the form of vacation or personal time off
  • Public recognition and commendation before peers

An important thing to remember when designing your employee referral program is that all types of recognition and compensation should be clearly spelled out for employees and the employee referral program guidelines should be transparent. Additionally, the referral process should be quick and easy for employees. Any roadblocks to referrals should be eliminated.

Technology to Track Referred Candidates: Once candidates are referred by an employee, another best practice involves having adequate technology in place to support recruitment and track referrals all the way through the hiring and onboarding process. Choosing a talent management system that meets this challenge is integral to a well-designed employee referral process.

The Takeaway

Your current employees are often the best recruiting source at your disposal for finding top talent. By fostering the right work culture, communicating with employees about your referral process, rewarding participating employees appropriately, and having a strong talent management system in place to track candidates, you can make the most of your employee referral program.

Thrive TRM is a talent management solution that incorporates all the functionality you need to track and nurture a strong talent pipeline that includes employee referrals. Take a moment to schedule a demo and explore what Thrive TRM offers for your talent management needs today.