How We Hire: Nitro's Epic Employee Referral Program

NitroNitro is a software company that accelerates the way businesses create, prepare, and sign documents. Its goal is to help companies use technology to work more efficiently and effectively, a mantra that the team applies internally as well. When the recruiting team began seeking ways to improve, it implemented Greenhouse and RolePoint to create both an effective recruiting process and employee referral program.

Nitro is in high-growth mode, hiring 30 new employees within the last few months and a total of 80 last year. Jennifer Trendler, Nitro’s Director of Talent, says its talent team is lean and mean -- a total of four people who are focused on creating a strong candidate pipeline and keeping the talent bar high.

The team knows that the best way to do this is by tapping into the networks of the company’s existing employees, Nitronauts. So the team decided to roll out an employee referral program using Greenhouse integration partner, RolePoint. RolePoint automates a lot of the manual work that the talent team was doing, like sending out email updates and researching employees’ social networks.

Jennifer and her team identified several desired outcomes of the employee referral program:

  • More qualified referrals: Employee referrals are great, but qualified employee referrals are even better.

  • Proactive updates: Enabling employees to receive automated updates on the status of any referrals.

  • An excellent employee experience: Candidate experience is hugely important to the team, but they also wanted employees to feel great about the program and to be in the loop.

  • More hires from employee referrals.

Nitronauts are already enthusiastic employees who are happy to submit referrals. But as an extra incentive, the program promises $5,000 to employees whose referrals become new hires.

The goal was to get 80% of the office enrolled. If the office hit that goal, members of the program were entered into a raffle to win a brand new iPhone.

To promote the program, the talent team launched a teaser campaign.

Jennifer Trendler

Jennifer Trendler

Director of Talent at Nitro

“A week before our the campaign, we went live with a teaser campaign. All employees received some emails that were a little cheeky, piquing their interest with a little information, but not too much. We also took advantage of the screens and monitors around the office with some of the same messaging to get them chatting and wondering what is going on. It was really fun and created some buzz leading up to the launch.”


On the day of the program’s launch, the Talent team made itself available to answer any questions in the most heavily trafficked place in the office - the kitchen! They set up a catered lunch and helped people get set up on RolePoint and enrolled in the program.

Outcomes of Nitro’s Employee Referral Program:

  • Within 48 hours of launch, over 80% of every one of their offices was enrolled

  • Last year, they received 70% more employee referrals than the year before

  • 35% of new hires last year were from employee referrals, many of these on the product and engineering teams

  • This year, the team is on track to increase the number of referrals by 25%

  • 42% of hires to date are from employee referrals

To learn more about how to run a successful employee referral program, we’ve created an eBook with everything you need to know! Download your free copy below:

Employee Referral Program

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Referral Programs