You have probably heard that employees referrals is one the best ways to get qualified applicants. Take a look at these 8 tips for advice on how to get the most of your employees referral program!

1- Be active, not passive

Every other tip used can fall into this category. The only to truly see results of an employee referral program is to consistently be working on improving it. It doesn’t make much sense just to start the program and expect your employees to know about it and engage.This handy chart that I have been using gives you a pretty good idea about how big the potential of employee referrals can be. However, it doesn’t work on its own. Your hiring person needs to be active on driving and motivating employees to make it work.

2- Track the results

It has been said that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. I get that you are probably tracking which employee referred each applicant so that you can pay out if you hire them, but the tracking that I’m talking about is the form of some simple metrics. A metric that you can calculate this by would be, “total applicants from referrals” and “total hires from referrals” by month. You might also think about a percentage metric, for example, % of total applicants or, % of total hires from employee referrals. Either one of these would be good approaches. By having this number you can set a goal on how to improve this program.

3- Focus on the Employee

How engaged are your employees in the referral program? You will find this is the core in making a referral program successful. You might need to give a little less attention to the wants and needs of HR and more focus on your employees in this case. This way, you will be seeing some pretty awesome results. If you take some time to look at this program from the perspective of you employees, you will be able to find ways to make improvements. Be sure to ask your employees for their feedback. By asking these questions, you make your employees feel valued and like a truly important part of your organization. Take a look at this article about employee referral programs from the perspective of the employees. Click here to read this article.

4- Alert employees of new job openings:

This one seems so obvious but you’d be surprised by how many hiring managers fail to do this. It’s important to communicate open positions within the company to your employees. They might now that you have an employee referral program but they probably won’t go out of their way to search for your open positions in their spare time. Keeping them actively engaged means sending a simple email to everyone in your organization with the current job openings, whether that is once a week or everytime a new position comes up.

5- Make it Easy

Your employees are probably super familiar with using social media but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will figure out the best way to share your job openings on Facebook. By setting up pre-set links, you can make it super easy for employees to share jobs. That way, the can click on link and it will take them to Facebook with the job url ready to share.

6- Make it Transparent

This one can be harder to do but it is essential for employees to see that their actions are driving results. While it’s really nice to tell your employees when you hired someone, it sometimes takes HR forever to get around to tell the person that made the referral. By that time, it’s not enough to keep your employees engaged in the program. There is a way of making this as transparent as possible is to have an employee software system to show job seekers how many hires have been generated in real time.  This might seem a little overboard for a smaller non profit, but even ApplicantPro’s small company so a dramatic increase of employee referrals when our employees with given access to the results of sharing jobs. We have our own portal for employee referrals but there are some companies that have software specifically for employee referrals.  Here is the link if it’s something you would like to consider:

7- Compensate them:

This one can be bit hard for some to grasp but our company believes that you should be giving your employees something of value when they refer a new hire. On the other hand, I”m not suggesting that you need to compensate in huge ways like some of these huge tech companies. However, A $25 gift card goes a long way to say “thank you” for a referral. If you really don’t have the budget, here are a few cheap ideas to reward your employees: have a monthly drawing so that you give 1 prize, get a “traveling trophy” that sits on the desk of the person with the most referrals, give away some left over items from your events (t-shirts, hats, etc), ask one of your sponsors to donate a gift card, send out a company email recognizing the employee who referred a new hire. Whatever you decide, saying thank you to your employees is essential driving your referral program.

8- Don’t treat employees like thieves

This one might be a little too much for some. HR is tried to manage the risk of employees making referrals just to get paid, so they put in place policies where employees don’t get paid out unless the hires last 30 days or sometimes longer.  It is understandable that the company wants to protect themselves against paying out a bad hire.  However, it is important to be careful with this, just because you might have one bad hire doesn’t mean you should treat all your employees this way because you are trying to cover yourselves from this one risk.  When it comes to putting a job ad on a job board, sometimes you are paying 100-400 dollars for a job post but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a single qualified applicant that will last even three months.   By putting forth this idea of a “delayed payment” it makes it your employees less motivated and less likely to make a referral in the future.  So, if you are going to use a delayed method make sure it is in a short period time, no more than a month.

Keeping checking in for more tips on how to increase your quality applicant flow!