10 Tactics of Successful Employee Referral Programs

Employee-Referral-10-TacticsIf you flipped through our ebook on How to Build A Strong Employee Referral Program, you’re probably well-versed on the positive impact a successful program can have on your recruiting efforts. However, we know the trickiest part is getting employees to submit those referrals.

We’ve rounded up 10 tactics that will help motivate your colleagues to submit an employee referral.

Try one of these employee referral tactics: 

  1. Educate employees on the power of referrals: You know that referrals are the #1 source for new hire quality, that they produce more profit, and stick around for the longest amount of time. But do your coworkers know that? Make sure you’re educating your organization on the positive impact referrals will have on your company’s culture and bottom line.
  2. Set and communicate recruiting goals: The Talent team of Greenhouse customer Thumbtack shares recruiting goals with the entire organization and sends updates weekly. With more transparency into their objectives, employees are more likely to help out.
  3. Carve out time for them to recruit: Recruiting - both sourcing and interviewing - takes time. If a hiring manager wants to fill positions on his or her team, time spent by the team must be accounted for. Thumbtack ties recruiting into quarterly goals so that hiring managers delegate time to this important task.
  4. Prioritize tough-to-fill positions: Sending out a link to your careers page will not result in an influx of referrals. Identify your most challenging or highest priority positions, then send out an email with details around those roles.
  5. Dig through employee social networks: Instead of asking employees to dig through their social networks, do it for them! Sleuth through the employee’s LinkedIn connections, then ask for an intro to somebody that looks compelling. Even better, draft up an intro email that your colleague can send.
  6. Define the attributes or skills that you’re seeking: A colleague may not know a Sales Manager, but she may know someone with the exact attributes you’re looking for. Be sure that you provide an opportunity for employees to submit contacts with relevant skills -- not just the right title.
  7. Provide employees with resources: Give your employees something to point to - a video, blog post, or awesome careers page - when they reach out to their contacts. Social media is an invaluable tool if used properly, but is best leveraged if the content gets prospects excited about the organization.
  8. Showcase your talent: Start a blog series around the existing members of your organization to help define company culture and showcase it to employee networks. An employee might be more likely to share a spotlight on his work than a job posting!
  9. Start a competition: Instead of a recurring cash bonus, get everyone excited with one, large, pool. Make it a competition and update the team on who’s ahead.
  10. Make it very easy to submit a referral: Being able to submit and track a referral should be a no-brainer for your organization. Don’t make them print the paperwork; use a user-friendly ATS or the interactive form we’ve provided below.

Download this interactive, employee referral submission form for a quick and easy way to collect referral information from your colleagues:

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Referral Programs