Employee referrals are a fantastic recruitment tool. Rather than trying to make a “cold call” to a candidate that knows nothing about your company in hopes that they will both fit the bill and be interested, you have an evangelist working for you that knows the candidate and your company! The following are a few things that you should know if you’re considering adding employee referrals to your recruitment strategy.

Referral Incentives Boost Motivation

Employees are far more likely to refer their friends and family for open positions if there’s a monetary incentive. Of course, incentives won’t stand up if your employees don’t enjoy their jobs and your company, so satisfaction needs to be a prerequisite to incentives. If your employees are happy and engaged, however, being able to help both the company and their friends while also earning extra money can make them even happier.

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Referrals Are a Cost-Effect Way to Recruit

Even with referral incentives considered, employee referrals can save companies money on recruitment. Referral incentives are generally much less than recruiter fees. Labor hours may also be saved as there is less need to keep reposting to job boards and social sites.

Hiring and Onboarding Are Quicker for Referred Candidates

Referred candidates are usually qualified for the job (your employees are unlikely to want to work with unqualified people!), so time is saved as their applications skip the filtering process. Since you already have at least one reference, you’ll save time on reference checking, as well. Onboarding is usually faster for referred employees, as they have a friend on the inside that can give them a leg up on acclimating and learning.

Referred Candidates Tend to Stay Longer

Statistics show that referred employees are happier with their jobs and generally stay longer than employees sourced by other means. This can help to bring down turnover ratios, but more importantly it will fill positions with people who genuinely care. Having a great team can help your company to thrive.

Company Culture Can Be Improved with Referrals

Since employee referrals consist of friends, professional colleagues, and sometimes family members of employees, a unique type of built-in rapport comes into your company along with employee referrals. People take pleasure in working with others whose company they enjoy, so your company culture may see an automatic boost when you incorporate employee referrals. Your employees will also feel good when they refer someone that works out well, boosting morale.

HR Software Can Make Employee Referrals Easier

HR software can make it easier for your employees to share job advertisements through their social media accounts and email. HR software can also help you to track employee referrals so that you don’t drop the ball on issuing incentives for successful referrals. Additionally, HR software can provide you with feedback about how well your employee referral program is working so that you can make changes as needed.

Employee Referrals Must Be Handled Properly

To work well, employee referrals must be handled properly. If an employee refers a friend for a job and that friend doesn’t hear anything from your company for over a week, it can be frustrating for the candidate and discouraging for your employee. Referred candidates are valuable and must be treated as such for a referral program to be worthwhile to everyone involved.

Authored by: Dave Rietsema