How to increase employee referrals in 5 easy steps

Increase employee referrals

88% of employers said that referrals are the #1 best source for above-average applicants. (Source: Dr. John Sullivan research).  It’s not news, but most businesses are still facing an uphill battle to increase employee referrals.

Tipping the balance to reach a point where you’re less reliant on external hires to fill every open role, because you’ve got a steady stream of referred candidates topping up your talent pipeline every week is a dream position to be in.

More referred candidates equals less time-to-hire, reduced recruitment costs and usually lower employee turnover.

But, to get to that point you need to consistently test strategies and tactics that ultimately increase the number of referred candidates into your business.  Here’s our top 5 – but don’t forget, creativity is critical to driving participation so there will always be more ideas.

1. Automate the referral process

Without blowing our own trumpet early doors, one of the reasons Real Links works so well is it overcomes the very first hurdle that gets in people’s way.  Actually referring a candidate.  Between not knowing what roles are open to not understanding the process to refer someone, it’s a common bottle neck. Real Link’s unique matching technology automatically identifies skills from your job adverts and matches them with skills from people in your employee’s networks.  The employee is sent a notification, and at the click of a button they refer and receive a reward.

2. Nail your rewards

A Real Links survey found that 34% of companies only offer rewards for referrals upon a hire being made with a further 65% once a referred candidate has passed their probation period. That is a long time for an employee to wait to be rewarded. And it’s not only about how long they wait, but the rewards they’re incentivised with.  Most organisations are still reliant on monetary rewards, which will be hurting their referral participation.

3. Communicate – all the time

Whether it’s a lack of transparency of the referral process; confusion about how to join in the first place or no up to date information on current open roles there’s a long list of reasons referrals fail, more often than not because of poor communication.  Clarity and consistency of communication from the day you launch your referral program is imperative for longevity.  A clear communications plan should be a key part of every new referral scheme.

4. Build an employer brand worth shouting about

Ok, it’s not a small task.  Especially if you’re starting from scratch, but living by an employer value proposition that’s clear and inspiring for your staff is likely to have the same effect on great talent.  We all know it’s important, but when it comes to referrals your employees have got to be committed to your message, and to do that, your message has to be clear and consistent.

5. Embed referrals into your culture

People are your most valuable asset.  Each and every person has a profound effect on the long term viability of your business.  As an HR or Talent Acquisition team you have a responsibility to convey how vital hiring is to the success of the company and empower employees to want to support you in making their business the best it can be.  In this case, by referring great talent.


Succeed with employee referrals – book a demo

3 examples of brilliant employee referral schemes

Employee referral examples

Although there is more than one method to building an effective employee referral program, it’s always interesting to take a look behind the scenes and get an insight into how other businesses have tackled that challenge.

We’ll keep you up to date with any brilliant examples we come across, but here are a few of the latest…

3 brilliant examples of employee referrals

SalesForce

At SalesForce, an American cloud-based software company, they acknowledge both the employee and referred candidate from the moment they are referred. Salesforce has a dedicated recruiting team as well as a chatter community platform in which the employee can communicate with a recruitment expert in real time. They also organise happy hours and social gatherings so recruitment specialists can mingle with employees as well as potential candidates, proving that a social workforce can help develop the company culture and employee retention. Salesforce then offers a variety of referral bonuses such as tickets to sporting events and payment for charitable work within the community. Notably, they not only offer bonus incentives to employees that refer a candidate that goes onto get hired, but they make a point of rewarding employees at each stage of the journey.

DigitalOcean

In 2017, DigitalOcean a cloud infrastructure provider, implemented an altruistic bonus incentive that brought their participation rate to 43%. For every referred candidate hired, the company not only gave the referring employee a monetary bonus, but also offered a charitable donation paid by the company to the charity of the employee’s choosing. Furthermore, if the employee chose to donate a portion of their monetary bonus, they were given a raffle ticket, that if won, awarded the employee with an all expenses paid trip.

Product Madness

Gaming platform Product Madness found they were at odds with their consumer and employer brand. That coupled with the competitive market for tech talent, posed a challenge to fill their open developer roles. They partnered with Real Links to implement our automated employee referral platform. Product Madness quickly success with the platform in under 12 weeks. With a 25% year on year increase in referral candidates, all developer roles filled and a newly established talent pool of 40,000 candidates.

It’s not difficult to understand the problems with employee referrals, it’s keeping up with the best tech and creative thinking that will set you apart . It’s a brilliant opportunity to spend some time on getting creative with engagement strategies that will keep employees motivated to participate.


Succeed with employee referrals – book a demo

The psychology behind successful referrals

Psychology of referrals

The benefits of a successful referral program are widely understood. The challenge is getting employees to participate and engage with your scheme long-term.  There are a variety of tactics you can use to help improve engagement, but one of the foundational principles of a great referral scheme is a deep understanding of the psychology behind your employee’s behaviour.  Once you understand that, you can begin to tailor your messaging; rewards and gamification strategies to appeal to this unique audience, your workforce.

There are a few psychological models that can help support employee referrals.  One of the primary ones is the Hook Model, created by entrepreneur, author, and behavioural economist Nir Eyal, it is a framework designed to understand and drive customer behaviour towards using products or services habitually. Although the model was intended for influencing customer behaviour and product marketing, the Hook framework can be applied to influence the behaviour of your workforce. By learning how to create scenarios that encourage habitual behaviour, you’ll be able to drive long term engagement with your employee referral scheme.

The 4 components of the Hook framework are trigger, action, variable reward, and
investment
.  When applied to the workforce and referral system, these components make up the process of creating referral habits and rewarding employees.

  • The trigger is the auto matching technology that allows the employee to
    refer to potentially qualified candidates.
  • The action resulting from the initial trigger will be the referral or social introduction of a candidate or sharing of company content on social channels. The employee can complete these actions in seconds straight from their dedicated dashboard on mobile or desktop.
  • To find the type of reward that motivates the team, a focus group must be conducted to identify whether the team is motivated by rewards of the tribe, the hunt, or the self. The rewards of the tribe are social rewards like feeling included, appreciated, or accepted. A shout out on social media or any recognition publicly for their valuable participation is an example of a social reward. The rewards of the hunt are physical things, such as gift cards, coupons, or vouchers. Lastly, the rewards of the self concern mastery, competence and completion.
  • The investment comes once employees have invested time and effort into completing actions within the referral scheme, the investment means they are more likely to repeat the action. The investment component helps to create a loop and our cognitive bias keeps us contributing.The Hook model is one of the most critical to understand when it comes to referrals schemes.  Alternatively, the reason that referral systems don’t work tends to be lack of consistency (unclear process), lack of reason for referrals (rewards), and the referral system not being a positive part of the company culture. Ultimately, by applying the Hook Model at the very beginning when you’re planning your scheme, it allows you to create a process that encourages long-term employee engagement.This can help keep hiring costs down, gain reach to more qualified candidates, increase
    long-term retention rates, and create a positive and motivating culture within your
    company.


Download our guide to the psychology of successful referrals

5 reasons employee referrals will be critical to recovery post COVID-19

We’re in the midst of an unprecedented time in global history.  Every country has reacted differently to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting impact on local economies and the global landscape is yet to be fully understood.

In the shadow of global economic turmoil modern businesses are once again faced with the challenge of streamlining costs; relying more heavily than ever before on technology to run their business and of course recruitment freezes are widespread across a large number of industries (though as ever some industries continue to succeed and even thrive on the back of this situation).

Employee referrals as a part of a business’ talent acquisition strategy has always been a cost effective and impactful tactic for recruiting high quality candidates with higher engagement and lower attrition rates.

According to a study run in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis: ‘Employee referral schemes are the best talent acquisition strategy during economic uncertainty’

When businesses are attempting to reduce costs and improve efficiency, from a recruitment perspective employee referral when done well is a quicker and cheaper alternative to other recruitment methods.  This makes it an important part of business recovery as we all take the first steps towards some sort of normality, BAU and future growth.

In this context we’re talking about fully automated employee referral platforms that import all employee’s social connections from a variety of platforms.  Using gamification and competition to engage employees. Implementing micro rewards to keep them active throughout the recruitment process and two way communication so TA teams can proactively suggest referral candidates, as well as employees putting candidates forward.

5 ways effective employee referral will help support business recovery

1.  Reducing the cost of recruitment
Employee referral is one of the most cost effective recruitment methods.  Especially when a lot of businesses find that large monetary rewards aren’t as motivating for employees as smaller, incremental less expensive rewards.  For example, we’ve seen much higher engagement with referral through £50-£250 Amazon vouchers, distributed at different stages of the candidate journey than a £5000 reward for a hire at the end of the process.  It also allows you to avoid hefty agency fees and streamline your recruitment budget which will be a critical part of keeping your business lean and prepared for recovery.

2. Keeping talent acquisition and employees engaged and connected
Employee engagement has been a significant challenge for most organisations during COVID-19.  Maintaining a high quality talent pipeline and keeping employees connected with each other, as well as talent acquisition teams connected to the business can be enabled through the use of automated employee referral systems; internal competitions and social sharing.

3. Fundamental shift to online
With enforced home working, businesses who perhaps hadn’t implemented flexible and remote working practices have been forced to.  Relying on technology to communicate and get things done has rapidly become the new norm.  It’s likely that investing in new technology like automated employee referral will now be a lot more effective than pre-COVID as reliance on digital technology is far more widespread and accepted by employers and employees alike.

4. Talent overflow as a result of furlough and redundancy
There’s no two ways about it, there’s going to be a significant spike in unemployment as life begins to return to normal.  This will mean a huge influx of talent into the market place at the same time.  According to the CIPD, for many organisations placing staff on furlough redundancy is likely to be a very real consideration; if not in the immediate term, then potentially whilst staff are on furlough or when the furlough scheme comes to an end on 30 June 2020.  Beyond furlough this will mean a higher volume of applicants for every role advertised, far more time consuming for TA teams.  Using employee referral may reduce the volume and increase the quality of applications.

5. High levels of competition for great talent
If you’re fortunate enough to operate in one of the few sectors that will either thrive or be relatively unaffected by Coronavirus, competition for great talent in those sectors will remain high, if not increase as demand for the product or service continues to grow.  Within your market place, it’s likely you’ve always faced a competitive hiring environment, but if demand for those skills spikes, adding employee referral to your recruitment armoury will set you apart from the competition, giving you access to a totally unique talent pool.

If you think automated employee referral will help support your business with recovery, why not book a Real Links demo today and find out more.  We also offer low cost pilot schemes for up to 100 employees if you’d like to try before you commit.

8 steps to running focus groups that ensure high returns on your employee referral schemes

We recently surveyed 100 employees to better understand the current landscape and shortcomings of referrals. Our survey base spanned multiple industries, geographic locations and job roles, with varying levels of seniority. We have now released the findings in a free whitepaper, “Rewarding Referrals: Strategies & Insights to Increase Employee Participation & Longevity”.

A critical first step to increase employee participation with your referral scheme is running a focus group. This allows you to get a thorough understanding of what motivates your employees not only to refer, but to engage with the scheme in the first place so you can formulate a referral strategy that will yield high returns.

why your referral scheme needs to be unique

Too many organisations create and implement some form of referral scheme, without ever engaging with the primary users, their employees.  However, we know from extensive experience that in order for it to work effectively, a business’ referral scheme needs to be as unique as their workforce is.  The referral process and the type of rewards must be tailored to the people you’re trying to engage, your employees.

For example, according to our findings, 88% of companies only offer money as a referral bonus.  This isn’t incorrect per se, but money won’t be the right motivator for everyone.  Do you really know what makes your employees tick?

using focus groups to get the information you need from your workforce

So how can you uncover what does motivate people?  Or, if you have a referral scheme in place, how can you really get under the skin of why people don’t engage with it so you can improve the process based on that feedback?

A simple survey might suffice (if you can get people to take the time to fill it out), but we have found that by far the best way to really understand your employees is to run one, or a series of focus groups with a cross section of your workforce.

There are two main purposes of a focus group.  To confirm ideas you already believe to be true and to uncover information and views you weren’t already aware of.

An effective focus group will lay strong foundations for a successful referral scheme.  Based on our experience, we’ve outlined the key elements for running a mutually beneficial employee focus group.

8 steps to running successful focus groups

  1. Choose your discussion topic carefully
  2. Plan your questions/discussion prompts in advance
  3. Prepare a focus group questionnaire
  4. Appoint a notetaker
  5. Select participants
  6. Kick off the discussion
  7. Get equal input from the group
  8. Analyse the results and feedback to the group

1. choose your discussion topic carefully

It’s important not to try to fit too many topics into the allotted time, as you’ll struggle to get the detail you need.  Select two key topics and keep those in mind throughout.  This will make it easier to refocus if you find the conversation is drifting.  These topics could be as simple as ‘what would motivate you and why’ and ‘challenges with the current referral scheme’

Quick tip – the optimal time for a focus group to remain productive is between 45-90 minutes.

2. plan your questions/discussion prompts in advance

In advance of the focus group run a briefing meeting with other colleagues organising the group and get a list of questions you’d like to get answers to.  Although the focus group discussion needs to be organic to uncover information you may not even have considered important, you need to be clear beforehand which questions are most important to create actionable information.

3. plan a questionnaire for your focus groups

Once you’ve planned your questions and discussion prompts, organise them into a questionnaire with plenty of space for notes.  Put the most important questions first, and keep in mind it’s more important to have an interesting and fruitful discussion than it is to get through all your questions.  You can always follow up later.

Quick tip – have a box at the end of each question specifically to highlight remarkable insights so they don’t get lost.

 

4. appoint a notetaker

It might sound obvious, but identifying the best person in the organisation to take high quality notes will be critical to ensuring the findings are clear.  Bear in mind the best person for that role may not be from within your department.

Quick tip – as well as having a notetaker in the session, audio or video record the session so you can refer back to it afterwards, just in case anything gets missed.

 

5. select your participants

It’s critical to gain the views of a wide cross-section of your organisation.  What motivates individuals in the tech department may not be the same as what motivates the finance department.  Gathering feedback from multiple pay grades is also important, as it could be the case that those on a higher wage are less motivated by money and more by time off for example.

Quick tip – in terms of the make-up of the group, in a larger organisation you might choose to run sessions with departments individually.  This is for two reasons.  One it may encourage quieter individuals to speak up as they’re amongst people they know and two you can have a more productive discussion as their views are likely to have more similarities – allowing you to use the time to drill down in a lot more detail.  In smaller organisations a cross functional group is probably more realistic.

 

6. kick off the discussion

To warm the group up, start off by asking a simple, open question.  As the conversation starts to flow, you can then begin to cover off more specific questions.

7. get equal input from the group

Be mindful that everyone’s opinion is important.  If you feel the discussion is being led by one or two more outspoken individuals, ensure you prompt quieter members of the group to answer and give them the time and space to do so.

8. analyse the results and feedback to the group

Hopefully your focus group has provided you with plenty of interesting angles, and actionable ideas to shape your employee referral strategy. After all of your focus groups have taken place compile and analyse the common themes and resulting actions.  Be sure to remember to feedback to the group (s) a high level version of the findings and the key actions you’re going to take.  This is important to ensure employees don’t feel their time was wasted and that their opinions were valuable to you.

At Real Links, one of the first steps we take with every organisation we work with is to hold focus groups with their employees.  We’ve run literally hundreds of these sessions, so if you think you might need support get in touch.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can transform referrals into a key source of hires download our whitepaper now.

The employee referral process

We recently released our findings based on a survey with 100 employees, which investigates the current landscape and shortcomings of employee referrals: “Rewarding Referrals: Strategies & Insights to Increase Employee Participation & Longevity”. One of our key findings was the necessity to include reward systems into your referral strategy in order to successfully increase referred hires from an industry average of under 10% to over 30%.

the referral process

Previously, we wrote about the types of rewards that can be used when providing bonuses for employee referrals. We found that while money is effective, there are many other forms that increase participation, such as time-off, personal development and experiential rewards. However, choosing the right type of reward isn’t the only factor that needs to be considered. When and how to reward referrals is equally important. Therefore, a clear, well-defined employee referral process that includes game mechanics, is what takes referrals from a passive benefit for recruitment teams to an active source of hard-to-reach candidates. In this blog, we will explore some of the dos and don’ts of the referral process.

when to reward referrals

Through our survey, we found that 34% of companies only offer rewards for referrals upon a hire being made with a further 65% once a referred candidate has passed their probation period. Only 1% of those surveyed said that their company rewards earlier in the application process. To put this into context, when considering hiring timelines (as seen below), it could take up to one year before employees are recognised for making a referral. In addition, since a majority of candidates will not pass the interview stage, most employees who have referred someone from their network will see no recognition for their efforts.

referral bonus timeline

a lack of transparency

Worse yet, due to the inability to easily track the status of their referred candidates in the hiring process, employees are left in the dark on the progress of their referrals. This is even more damaging, when considering that a number of employees will refer someone and never receive a reward, creating mistrust in not only referrals but also the company they work for. In fact, our survey shows that 83% of employees are unable to track the progress of referred candidates. This means that for most employees, their experience with referrals will be a negative one.

gamification & reward systems

Looking at game mechanics as an indication for how likely employees are to participate, it’s clear that instantaneous rewarding is a key factor to success. If the employee performs a positive action, in this case an introduction to a candidate, or the very first step of a referral, they need to be immediately rewarded. Here, microrewards are powerful, and when correctly used, result in employees continuously referring. It’s important to break down the application process and to incorporate gamification into the various stages of referrals.

For example, successful forms of rewards for when a referral is made could be raffle tickets, which result in a prize at the end of the month. The more referrals an employee makes, the more raffle tickets they earn, increasing their chances of winning. When a referred candidate moves onto the interviewing stage, another micro-prize could be offered. Even something as simple as a free lunch can be highly motivational. This lets you use gamification to experience much higher returns on your referrals.

a tailored referral process 

But do your employees prefer raffle tickets or a points-based system? Are they fans of leaderboards or do they dislike competition? Much like what type of reward to choose, the only way to know how to formulate your process is to ask your employees. At Real Links, the first step to creating our clients’ referral strategies is to hold focus groups with their employees. We rely on their feedback to create a referral process that increases participation and longevity. We then setup the gamification elements of our platform based on these results, ensuring that referrals are a key recruitment component in our clients’ organisations.

Interested in learning more about how you can transform referrals into a key source of hires? Download our whitepaper now.

what are the best employee referral bonuses?

We recently surveyed 100 employees to better understand the current landscape and shortcomings of referrals. Our survey base spanned multiple industries, geographic locations and job roles, with varying levels of seniority. We have now released the findings in a free whitepaper, “Rewarding Referrals: Strategies & Insights to Increase Employee Participation & Longevity”. One of the key focus areas of the whitepaper was to understand what the best employee referral bonuses are to increase participation in referrals over the long term.

the best employee referral bonuses

We’ve found that the biggest obstacle to successful referrals is participation and longevity through our past experiences working with clients. For this reason, it’s vital that a well-thought-out strategy is in place that includes reward systems. While most companies today, 88% according to our survey, opt to only offer cash bonuses upon hire or passing probation, our findings show that there are multiple other forms of recognition that are motivating, and often at a lower cost. These can range from raffles to beer and pizza parties to charity donations. However, according to those surveyed, the three best employee referral bonuses for increasing employee participation are time-off, personal development and experiences.

In this blog, we will be exploring these three types of rewards that can transform referrals into a key source of hires by increasing employee engagement:

time-off

While it’s true that even in our study money was the greatest motivator, time-off came second at 50%. Studies show that people who value time over money are happier.  People today have heavy workloads and busy personal lives. More and more people are reporting that time has now become a scarce commodity.

This speaks volumes for the potential in rewarding time-off for referrals. It’s not only a way to recognise employees for their efforts in sourcing candidates for your company, but it could also increase overall satisfaction rates, creating engaged employees. While employees will greatly appreciate a day-off for making referrals, it will also give them the rest they desperately need. The effects of employee engagement on productivity are well documented, with reports that highly engaged employees increase profitability by 21%.

Additionally, in the majority of cases it’s more cost-effective than a cash bonus, when considering that typical monetary referral bonuses tend to sit around the $500 – $1000 range, more than a day of annual leave for most employees.

personal development

Career development has become a key focus for people today. This is supported by our findings, which show that personal development ranks as the third most motivational award. However, employees today are less and less focused on a career within a certain company. People are job hopping more than ever before and this trend is expected to continue. Therefore, acquiring the skills they need to successfully make lateral moves, internal and external, make personal development one of the best employee referral bonuses.

Similarly, thanks to continual developments in technology, core skills constantly need to change. People today feel that their skills are going to date very easily, and in the majority of cases, they’re not wrong. This makes rewarding personal development, be that budget or courses, an extremely desirable, and therefore motivating, form of rewarding.

rewarding experiences

Trips, helicopter rides, scuba diving lessons, the list is endless when it comes to experiential rewards. The reason they can be one of the best employee referral bonuses is because experiences are far more memorable than money. People rarely remember what they spent their referral bonuses on. While employees appreciate money, the appreciation is fleeting. They also expect it, as most companies today provide referral cash bonuses. Experiences, on the other hand, are something people may remember and appreciate for the rest of their lives.

What’s even more powerful with these types of rewards, is that the positive memories gained from these experiences are associated with your company. This is not only extremely motivational, but also helps in retaining employees. Additionally, with a proper advocacy plan in place, experiential rewards can help your employer branding efforts. Everyone today is an influencer. A simple Instagram post from one of your employees with your company tagged in it about an experience you provided them is an endorsement like none other. This is one of the many ways that referrals can play a vital role in your employee advocacy strategy.

so what should I use to reward referrals? 

The options may seem endless. The truth is there’s a lot of different rewards that are effective, and unfortunately most companies’ rewards strategies are based on assumptions. This is one of the key reasons that referral schemes fail. For example, we recently hosted a focus group at a major recruitment consultancy we work with. Our assumption was that the competitive aspects of our platform’s gamification features would be well received. After all, recruiters thrive in and are used to a competitive environment. However, the opposite turned out to be true. They responded negatively to implementing yet another leaderboard. They had enough competition in the workplace. On the other hand, when we held a similar focus group for nurses, we were surprised by how excited they were at the prospect of competition. It was culturally unusual for them and therefore enticing.

The reality is that until you speak to your employees, everything around what, how and when to reward referrals is an assumption and a risk you can’t afford to take. The best policy here is to tailor your rewarding strategy to what your employees find desirable. The only way to truly understand what would motivate your employees to participate in referrals is to ask them directly. In our experience focus groups are an excellent method to understand how to tailor your referral strategy to fit your employees. That’s why they’re one of the first steps we take when working with clients. The findings from these focus groups then go on to dictate how we setup our platform, gamification and process.

While understanding what the best employee referral bonuses are is important, the entire rewarding process is equally paramount to success. When should you reward your employees for referrals (when a candidate starts inteviewing, upon hire, upon passing probation, etc.)? How do you use referrals to increase your recruitment pipeline? You can find the answers to all these questions and more in our free whitepaper, which will help you establish a referral strategy that increases participation and longevity. Read it today.

The Benefits of Employee Referrals

Employee referrals are a recruitment channel with a number of benefits such as boasting an extremely high conversion rate, where only 7% of applications come in through referrals yet they’re responsible for 40% of all hires. For employees, referral programs often feature appealing bonuses such as time off, cash, physical prizes and much more. Similarly, the secret to success when it comes to candidates finding their ideal, next position often lies within their professional networks. Employee referral programs, when handled correctly, create a best-case scenario for all stakeholders: employers, employees and applicants. 

Benefits for Employers

A referral program is a great way to source pre-qualified applicants, passive talent and even poach candidates from your competitors. It’s simple really, the people who you trust to produce results in your company have a vast network of likeminded individuals, who are more likely to be a cultural fit and get the job done. They also on average carry a 39% higher employee retention rate than candidates sourced through agencies and other recruitment tactics.  

A solid employee referral program is also more cost and time efficient than other forms of recruitment. From a financial perspective, recruitment agencies are known to be extremely expensive. Thanks to aggressive commission schemes, they often care less about matching the ideal candidate with the role than they do about fulfilling their quotas and generating revenue. On the other hand, internal recruiters spend a significant amount of time searching for candidates, qualifying them and setting up conversations. For hard to fill roles, these considerations can be extremely difficult challenges to overcome.

Finally, assuming your employees are appropriately incentivised to refer candidates, the success of your employee referral program can speak volumes for the rate of satisfaction your employees experience in the workplace. After all, an employee that cherishes their position and company is much more likely to recommend their friends and the people they trust, if they’re happy with where they work. They’re also more motivated to recommend people they believe will truly make a change at your organisation and satisfy your growth targets as they truly care about what’s best for your company. 

Benefits for Employees

While most employers have financial incentives in place when it comes to referrals, they also opt for other bonuses ranging from free travel to prizes such as bikes, gadgets and much more. On top of this, recognition in company communication channels as well as from supervisors are great motivators that push employees to become active in an employee referral program. However, there’s also the recognition within their personal networks, such as their social media channels, and the satisfaction of knowing that they helped someone close to them progress in their career. 

Successful and happy employees have your company’s goals in mind and are looking for solutions to hit their personal and professional goals. For example, a software engineer may have a daunting roadmap in front of them, which an additional, productive team member would help them achieve. Finally, the prospect of having an active hand at choosing their colleagues, and working alongside people they like and respect, is very motivational. 

Benefits for Candidates

Being referred for a position by someone who already works at a company often grants job seekers the coveted status of a fast track candidate by getting their CV in front of the right people at the right time. Rather than submitting their CV to hundreds of companies and filling out tedious, often painstakingly long application forms, their own networks can be a great first step to finding their next position. Or, better yet, perhaps one of your employees will reach out to them, whether they’re actively looking for the next step in their career or not, with a recommendation for the position of their dreams. 

Employee referral programs are one of the strongest forms of sourcing talent that focuses on quality. They feature multiple benefits for all stakeholders and have an active hand in creating a tangible, positive company culture. If you’re interested in learning more about employee referrals, Real Links’ platform automates the entire employee referral program through an intuitive matching system that promises to reduce the time spent and costs of recruitment.

Get in touch with us now.

 

Why should I improve my employee referral scheme now..?

Successful employee referral schemes are a powerful recruiting tool for businesses – they provide significant cost savings and help companies to make more productive hires who stay long term. The problem is that increasing referrals still tends to fall quite low down on the priority list for companies.

Don’t just take our word for it though, let’s have a look at some of the key stats…

9 Key Statistics

1. Highest ROI

82% of employers rated employee referrals above all other sources for generating the best return on investment (ROI)

2. Better quality hires

88% of employers said that referrals are the #1 best source for above-average applicants

3. More likely to be hired

Employee referrals are 3-4x more likely to be hired than non-referral candidates

4. Better retention rates

Employee referral candidates have an average retention rate of 46%, compared to the 33% retention rates of organisations that only use career sites

5. More affordable

 Hiring through employee referrals saves companies at least £2,270 per hire

6. More likely to accept the job

Referred candidates are more likely to accept the job

7. Reduce time to hire

Employee referral candidates are 55% faster to hire, compared with employees hired through other channels

8. Good for diversity hires

Employee referrals are the #1 most productive source of diversity hires

9. Attract passive candidates

Employee referral schemes are more likely to attract passive candidates than other recruitment channels

These are just some of the key stats which show how running a successful referral scheme can be transformative for companies.

If you’re interested in implementing a referral scheme or improving your existing one, Real Links’ employee referral platform can help!

If you’re looking to learn more, feel free to get in touch by emailing sales@reallinks.io. We’re always happy to chat!

How to nail your employee referral program with tech…

How Real Links, the employee referral platform, uses technology to solve the problems with employee referral schemes…

My role as co-founder of Real Links is to undertake the software development and product design of our platform. My colleague Sam Davies has already written about the problems that companies typically encounter with employee referral programs after surveying HR professionals and employees.Today, I want to explain how we’ve harnessed technology to solve these problems and build a simple process to increase employee referrals and decrease recruitment spend.

My referral scheme is getting results, couldn’t my company solve the problems with our referral schemes without third party software..?

Undoubtedly, there are some solutions that companies could implement. However, these processes are very labour intensive so it’s our belief that any company looking to improve their existing processes or create new ones could gain a lot from an automated and efficient system.

Visibility?—?I’m not told about vacancies at my company:

The companies with the most successful referral schemes think carefully about who in their company might have good connections for a specific role, for example those of a similar age or with connections at previous companies, and then make them aware of such roles.

We’ve made this super simple with a one click email to employees asking them to share the job vacancy via email or in their social networks.

We’ve also built an employee referral portal that houses all your current job postings from your ATS which an employee can access to view the current postings.

Time?—?It takes too long to refer someone.

Time and again the feedback we got from candidates was that they are too busy to share jobs with their friends or, if they do, it’ll just be someone in their immediate social sphere.

We’ve made it possible for employees to refer their network through our easy to use one click sharing features while also tracking the results.

Recognition:

The best referral schemes had employees rewarded for simply taking part. We spoke to one company where their employees would get a £20 gift voucher simply for sharing a job on LinkedIn. Now, that might be on the generous side but giving employees an incentive to be engaged in the process makes a lot of sense?—?maybe the first few times they try to refer a role they don’t know anyone suitable, but what if they do on the third attempt.

With a typical referral incentive scheme where a hire is rewarded, employees often lose interest.

At Real Links, we have a leaderboard that encourages employees to keep coming back to collect points (gamification) and also the opportunity to win prizes as they score to certain levels.

Conclusion:

Individually, these are all pretty straightforward steps you can start to implement today to improve your scheme, in fact you are probably already doing some of these things. However, it takes time to monitor, optimise and implement these features manually and suggest using a software tool would be preferential.

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FREE 2 week pilot

For up to 50 employees to test the platform; onboarding and employee engagement.

Hiring Great Tech Talent Fast

See how one tech business filled all their hard to fill tech roles with referrals;

 

Learn how referrals can work really well for specialist hiring;

 

Understand what motivates tech teams to engage with referrals.

The Psychology of Referrals

Learn the 3 psychological models that will influence success

 

Understand your employee’s behaviour and how to influence it;

 

Use this insight to generate long term participation with your referral scheme.

Rewarding Referrals

Based on research with over 100 businesses;

 

Learn how to increase employee participation with referrals;

 

Loads of new reward ideas you can implement into your business.