How Real Links helped Celonis to increase referrals from 9-33% in under a year!

Mission: Optimising business processes with process mining technology
3000+ employees worldwide
HQ: Munich, Germany

Challenge & objectives

Celonis has thousands of implementations with global customers and is headquartered in Munich, Germany and New York City, USA with more than 20 offices worldwide. With a global footprint of this magnitude, Celonis shows no signs of slowing down. Serving customers across multiple geographies and industries, talent attraction is a year round challenge. Processing this volume and range of roles requires a streamlined talent acquisition strategy that can be efficiently scaled, and this all needs to happen at speed. Historically a high proportion of Celonis’ talent acquisition was driven by referrals, but a lack of focus on the programme had caused this to drop off to just 9% of hires coming from referrals.



  • Re-launch referrals into Celonis and increase from 9%
  • Build and maintain a global talent pipeline 
  • Fill open roles across multiple geographies 
  • Create an efficient and scalable talent acquisition strategy using referrals as the primary source of candidates
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Hear from Celonis

From day one on, we had a super close collaboration with Real Links.  We discussed in detail what our challenges were and what we wanted to improve and it turns out our main problem was definitely the engagement piece”


To kick off, Celonis ran a global roll out to ensure inclusivity for the launch campaign, inviting 3,097 global employees to join the Real Links platform. Celonis really focused on Real Links gamification to maximise employee engagement and make referrals fun again. To date two thirds of those employees are registered on the platform, a remarkable level of employee engagement when compared with industry averages. 

  • Invited 3,097 global employees to the Real Links platform 
  • Celonis carefully considered how best to incentivise their employee groups to use the platform, based on their collective values – using collective goals like tree planting which was really popular with employees
  • The launch campaign ran for 10 weeks. Employees across the globe were encouraged to share open roles across their own social networks, and were rewarded for doing so
  • Recruiter enablement was achieved by arming the recruiters with the automated campaign set up and comms planning, making the campaign simple to execute in a few easy steps.
  • Real Links went on to build a dedicated Slack channel for referrals to further improve employee engagement 



After we created lots of buzz around the new programme, we saw amazing results. In just a couple of months we were able to increase referrals from 9% to 33% which for me personally was mind-blowing.

Results - referrals up from 9% to 33%

The launch campaign ran for 10 weeks, and drove applications for open roles across 23 countries. The majority of the results and actions that follow were all achieved in under a year after the initial launch campaign, and were a direct result of using the Real Links platform to run talent acquisition campaigns.

15,089 Job shares

In under a year Celonis saw 15,089 job shares through the platform, directly from campaign actions taken by employees.

1608 interviews

1608 interviews were conducted demonstrating a significant increase in referral interviews

159 hires
From the1608 interviews, we saw 159 global hires which accounted for 33% of all hires demonstrating a 3.7x increase in referral hires
Hard to fill talent and global reach

Celonis secured hires for a range of niche and industry specific roles across 23 global locations and highly qualified roles across various departments. Roles filled included Senior Software Engineer; Account Executive; Field Marketing Specialist for Oil and Gas; Senior Services Consultant for Tech and Telco - and role locations included London, New York, Tokyo, San Francisco and Stockholm, amongst others.

The communication plan

The launch was all done via Celonis’ internal comms to the business, including links to the Real Links platform. Beyond that, regular comms were then sent via the TA team throughout the launch campaign, encouraging participants to take action, and providing leaderboard updates. Real Links went on to deliver automated Slack and email engagement comms from the Real Links platform to further drive adoption and ongoing engagement.

Tailored rewards

Celonis mapped a reward system that aligned with their budget. First, second and third place for the most referrals and content shares would receive points to be redeemed in the reward shop in the platform. A collective goal was also set up that promised to plant one tree for every application driven by action in the platform.

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