‘He’s a good bloke, hire him’ (excuse the gender specific reference)
How many times have you heard that one? An employee, friend, family member asks if you are looking to hire, and that they know this ‘great person’ who you should hire. You go through the motions, hire the person and it goes pear shaped. Turns out, they are indeed a great individual but not one of your better performers. Hopefully they exit your employ without a great deal of effort and legalities. So why does this happen?
We all read about how great referral programs are. Whether they be formal or informal programs, apparently people who are referred are generally more productive, and have better tenure. On the flip side you hear A LOT of these poor experiences with referrals. So where do you start?
Sure, an employee referral policy or procedure is a good thing to have, but it is not a necessity. If you have one, make it simple. Don’t get overly complicated with how and when payments are made, who his eligible and who is not. If you are providing your employees the right tools, then you should have faith in them to refer the right people.
Should I pay? ‘Cash is king’ as they say. But if you have a great company with good culture people tend to refer because they want to work with other great people. Cash payments are not necessary.
Recognition is what is important. Some other ideas might be:
- Raffle ticket to enter into the Annual Company Referral Competition
- Extra leave days
- Gift vouchers
- Short family holiday voucher
- Donation to nominated charity, or the school the referees’ children attends, etc
Effective marketing strategies around the referral program also help. Do you have employee testimonials on ‘what it takes to be an employee’ to show prospects? If not, why not? It’s a relatively inexpensive opportunity to create content whilst creating engagement with an employee.
Heck, why not run a competition with your employees to see who can create the best employee referral video/campaign?
Not something I hear or read much about are internal referrals. If you are a larger organisation or one that has multiple offices, what about an internal referral program for existing employees? Sure you might have a regular internal vacancy bulletin, but does it reach everyone?
Consider having an internal referral program.
Don’t forget about all those missed opportunities in the recruitment process to promote your organisation in relation to referrals. Just because someone was not successful does not mean they won’t get involved in spruiking your business (if of course they have a great experience).
With the progress in technology, take a look at the numerous referral apps which could support your business. Of course there are the more traditional tools such as referral cards, flyers, emails, post cards and chocolates to leave around the premises. Oh and don’t forget all those employer review sites! People like to have their say in public spaces, and you need to get involved.
Keep it simple, keep your employees educated and informed, and you should have a great, worry free, hassle free referral program.
Our featured guest blogger
Stan Rolfe is a strategically minded, technology savvy, Talent Acquisition leader, with a passion for recruitment, technology, leadership and blogging (stanrolfe.com). Stan is currently the Resourcing Manager for Barminco Ltd, and Managing Editor for ATCHub, where all things talent management are discussed.
Stan has worked in the Talent Acquisition industry over the past 13 years within both Agency and Internal Corporate Functions. He has worked with leading organisations across the Professional Services, Engineering, Construction and Contracting sectors. One of Stan's recent successes has been the introduction of virtual simulation into the recruitment process at Barminco Ltd, a leading International underground hard rock miner. This saw him present at both the Australian Talent Conference (ATC2015) and #TruLondon on 2015.