May 17, 2022

How to create an employee referral program?

Nowadays, finding and retaining talent is more difficult than ever. The fierce competition between companies and the changing employment world creates a lot of troubles that the department of Human Resources has to solve. A tool that is useful when it comes to recruitment are employee referral programs. You probably have heard about them already. They can simplify the whole recruitment process. 

Do you know how to create an employee referral program? At T2W we understand the world of recruitment and Human resources, so we can help you. In this article we will give you some keys that will help you create a good employee referral program.  

Employee referral programs 

An employee referral program is one of the most effective methods of recruitment. With this program you request the help of trustworthy employees and ask them to recommend professionals they know in order to fill a vacant position. Since employees already know the organization and its organizational culture, the people they recommend will be likely to fit both the company and the position. 

The numbers regarding these programs are very revealing: In average, more than 45% of the employees coming from a referral program stay in the organization for more than 4 years. This is even more relevant if we consider that only the 25% of employees that come from a regular recruitment process stay for more than 2 years. 

How to build an employee referral program? 

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1. Create the referral criteria 

One of the main objectives of any employee referral program is to find quality talent that can adapt quickly to the company’s work philosophy and values. With this in mind, the program should be specific with the characteristics they are looking for each position. For that reason, the first step is creating the criteria employees should follow when recommending a contact. 

These requirements should be divided into two parts. The first set of criteria must answer whether the candidate will fit the company. Here the requirements are general and must focus in the soft skills and the personality traits of the person recommended. This is important because it reveals if the applicant will be a good fit for the company as a whole and its organizational culture: its values, objectives and way of working. 

The second set of criteria must answer if the candidate will have a good performance in the position. Here the requirements are more specific and are related to technical skills and knowledge of a particular professional area. Employees must check the experience and specialization level of the people they recommend. By defining all those criteria, you set the personal characteristics and the professional skills that each candidate should have. This helps all participants to recommend their contacts with precision. 

2. Set a reward system 

Employee reward systems demand active participation from employees. You will depend on them to have a successful program that meets the recruitment needs. In fact, many employees will spend free time in helping the program and for that reason their support must be rewarded. In a standard program, that reward is usually a bonus and the amount can change. However, it should be attractive or you won’t have employee participation. 

In most of the programs, the bonus is only received by the person who recommended the candidate that was hired. However, you can also offer rewards to all participants. These additional rewards don’t have to involve money. It can be discounts coupons or some other benefit to all employees who choose to participate and help. This way you keep employees engaged. 

3. Define the participants 

This is a very important part because is here where you will define who can recommend candidates for a position. In general, all employees should participate since the more participants, the more applicants. However, it doesn’t guarantee that all people recommended will get to the final stages of the selection process. Also, keep in mind that the idea of getting a bonus will be attractive for everyone and the suitability of the candidates could vary. 

It’s also necessary to define the way employees will refer their contacts. In this case, the simpler the procedure you set for them to refer people, the more participation you will get. You can lead them to a specific email or a database. However, keep in mind that the name of the worker who recommended the candidate must be specified to recognize the winner of the bonus. 

4. Encourage employee participation 

Finally, you cannot forget about advertising the program. This must be done internally: explain employees why it’s important to participate and the benefits they could receive. Also, once the process is over and the candidate gets hired, is best to reward the employee who won the bonus in a visible way. That will foster involvement for future occasions.  

These are the main steps to create an employee referral program, pay attention to each step and you will have a system that will help you find quality talent. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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