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6 Points Of A Successful Employee Referral Program

By Expert Author: Savio Vadakkan

So you’ve heard that employee referrals are a great cost saver to any organization? Moreover it also reduces the time taken to fill a position which in turn makes sourcing a candidate simple for any recruiter. But is this task as easy as it sounds?

An employee referral program is essentially using your employee’s connections which may be their relatives, friends or acquaintances for a vacancy in the organization. So far so good but here are 6 important elements which need to be considered before rolling out an employee referral program.

Before we get into the topic, let us understand that employee referral programs are an activity which can get long term benefits to any organization since it is getting an entire new culture of referrals for which employee participation is of utmost importance.

Here are my 6 key elements for the creation of a successful referral scheme:

1) Don’t make it complex

A simple plan is always more effective than a complicated one even if the latter is more rewarding. Moreover if people don’t understand something they will lose interest very quickly. The entire process should be well planned and kept as simple as possible so it does not tie up the valuable time and efforts of your recruiting team. It may also save a few dollars.

2) A right Direction

Employees are the driving force for the success of any referral program, so think carefully about how you will do this and what your incentive will be; some schemes offer vouchers, some offer movie tickets, some offer team nights out, some offer cold hard cash. Whatever it may be, it must grab people’s attention and match your culture.

3) “Network” is the key word

Social media is the answer for low employee participation in a referral program. Try LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter….your employees will be hooked too. They should be encouraged to post new roles through their social and professional network platforms to maximize the reach for each of the vacancies posted. This habit of social recruiting should be encouraged positively and made an integral part of the company’s culture, especially for all new employees.

4) Visibility

The culture of employee referrals will be integrated to the company culture but this will take time. It is very important for your referral program to gain full visibility for it to have a good start and making the employees understand the rules of engagement and potential rewards.Communication from the C-level, posting on the intranet, posters by the coffee machine, use whatever it takes to get the message out. Just do it. Then repeat.

5) Shout it loud!

If there has been a successful hire through referrals then make everyone knows about it. The employee that made the referral in the first place should be acknowledged. Reward management plays an integral part in the case of employee referral programs. This will inspire others too.

6) Do not expect the impossible!

Be patient and don’t expect magic from your referral program. Have you heard of any company sourcing candidates only from employee referrals? 100 % referral hires? Even big brands globally use employee referrals as a single element of their overall multi-channeled recruitment strategy.

So your referral program will be no different. It will take time to evolve and deliver. But in case there is something which is not working, change it.

Author Bio:

Savio Vadakkan is the Marketing Professional at ZALP, a unique employee referrals booster. ZALP helps organizations tap the full potential of their employee referral program using advanced social media integration, social recruiting and interesting features like gamification.

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