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6 Ways to Bring a Human Touch to Employee Referrals

It’s no secret that referrals are the best way to find the best talent. Hires coming from referrals are more likely to be a good fit, perform better, and stay longer in a company. Some companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on referral bonuses and HR technology solutions to source the best referral candidates from their employees' networks. But spending a lot of time and money is no guarantee that your referral program will be successful.

What can you do to keep employees engaged in making quality referrals? Keep reading for a few tips!

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The 6 Elements of a Winning Employee Referral Program

Planning out an employee referral program can seem complicated, and there are definitely a lot of moving parts. But if you’re looking for a source of high-quality employees who are more likely to get hired, perform better on the job, and stick around longer, then it’s definitely worth the effort!

We’ve spoken with a lot of our customers to learn how they’re able to create predictable and productive referral programs. While there are many aspects of referral programs that are unique to that particular company’s culture, we’ve identified six elements that are pretty consistent through most successful programs.

What are the six things every company should do to enhance their employee referral program? Read on to find out!

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Getting Buy-in for an Employee Referral Program

You may already be aware of the positive impact a successful employee referral program can have on your company (a smoother recruiting process, better quality hires, and better retention, to name a few), but how do you get the rest of your company bought in?

If you need help getting your execs bought in or increasing employee adoption, we offer a few tips in today's post.

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Making the Case for Employee Referral Programs

In today’s workforce, the people you hire have a big impact on what your company can achieve both creatively and financially. We have a feeling you probably already know this—that’s why you’re looking for ways to get even better people through your doors.

Luckily, there’s one approach that will help you find top-performing, dedicated employees who will lead your company to do great things: Asking your existing employees to make referrals!

Let’s take a look at why referrals should be an essential part of your recruiting strategy.

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Do Employee Referral Programs Reduce Diversity?

With many companies invested in both hiring the best talent and building a diverse workplace, a common question is, “Do employee referral programs reduce diversity?” The concern is that employees refer candidates “like” them, which might end up creating a homogeneous candidate pool and hence hurt diversity.

But is this really the case? Read on...

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How Stripe Created a Referral Culture Without Monetary Reward

Recruiters often vocalize that referrals are the best source for finding high quality candidates. But we can all pretty much agree that it can be a challenge to incentivize employees to tap into their networks and refer. Some companies provide monetary rewards to employees to encourage them to refer. But not all companies have the means to do so—and other companies (Greenhouse included) don’t want money to be the sole motivator.

So, what's the best approach to building an employee referral program that works, when money is not a factor?

In our latest Hiring Hacks webinar, Stripe, a technology platform that helps internet businesses accept online payments, explains the approach it takes to its employee referral program, resulting in a compelling 40% of their hires coming from employee referrals alone!

Learn how Stripe accomplished this...

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How Greenhouse Does Its Employee Referral Program: Philosophy, Execution, and Success Metrics

Good people know good people, right? It’s simple logic that has laid the foundation for such concepts as networking, blind dates, and...referral programs. But contrary to the success rate of being set up by colleagues or friends, referral programs have a strong history of churning out positive results!

According to Dr. John Sullivan of the Wall Street Journal, 88% of 73 major employers surveyed said that referrals are the #1 source for above-average applicants. 

In crafting our own employee referral program here at Greenhouse, we considered what other companies were doing and even made sure to avoid common mistakes. As a result, we rolled out a formal referral program last December, and I’m pleased to report that we’ve experienced great success ever since.

In this post, I’m excited to share Greenhouse’s referral philosophy, our process, and our successes, so that you can implement your own effective employee referral program, too.

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5 Common Employee Referral Program Mistakes—And How to Solve Them

The power of successful employee referral programs can’t be overlooked. Referred employees are the #1 source of new hire quality, showing higher retention rates, engagement, and performance. They also get hired faster and ramp up more quickly than non-referred employees.

Despite these numerous benefits, there is still a big disconnect between potential and execution when it comes to employee referral programs. In fact, referrals account for not even 7% of all applicants, showing an enormous missed opportunity. So, where does it all go wrong? Unfortunately, there are several problems that often occur, jeopardizing employee participation and causing you to miss out on this valuable source of talent. 

If your company is looking to jumpstart its employee referral program and get the maximum benefit from this channel, consider if you’re guilty of any of these 5 common mistakes...and then work to correct them!

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Building an Employee Referrals Machine: 5 Questions to Make You Rethink Your Employee Referral Program

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Sesame Mish

Sesame Mish is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. She is also pursuing an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Sesame held previous roles at Marketo and TechShop. Besides a love for marketing and the written word, she enjoys playing volleyball, spending time with family, doing volunteer work, and rooting for her favorite team, the San Francisco Giants. Connect with Sesame on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

There’s no tool more powerful in recruiting than a strong employee referral channel. According to Staffing.org, 88% of 73 major employers surveyed said that referrals are the #1 source for above-average applicants. So it’s no wonder that referred employees make a measurable difference in your organization—they have higher retention rates, engagement, and performance.

Clearly, having referred employees is the goal. But unfortunately, getting employees to refer candidates is not always easy. This is why recruiting teams strive to put together structured and attractive employee referral programs.

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