According to Entelo’s 2018 Recruiting Trends Report, 78% of HR experts consider employee recommendations to be the most valuable recruiting channel. Sounds like a must-have in times of skilled workers shortages. But how well do referral programs, in which employees suggest talent from their personal network as potential new colleagues, actually work? In reality, there is often a lack of budget, the right digital culture and expertise.
Why you should consinder employee recommendation programs
Are you looking for arguments to convince the management of an employee recruiting concept or to expand an existing program?
The most important advantages:
1. Good-value alternative.
An employee referral concept provides an inexpensive alternative, particularly when the recruitment budget is tight. The math is simple: the employee who successfully helps to recruit a new employee usually receives a bonus. However, the cost of hiring on a recommendation is only a fraction of what could be spent on headhunters, recruitment agencies and on job advertisements published via various channels.
2. Larger pool of candidates.
If you let your employees share open positions in their personal networks, you will reach a huge pool of candidates. This is because the number of talented potential employees who actively look for and react to traditional recruiting campaigns such as job advertisements is much smaller than the group of those who are enthusiastic about changing employers on the recommendation of a friend.
3. The right appointment.
Nobody knows a company, its culture and its requirements better than its employees. They can offer authentic insights to friends when recommending an open position with their employer. On the other hand, employees also know their friends so well that they can judge whether they will feel comfortable in the team. This matching has advantages beyond the recruiting process: studies show that employees referred by other employees settle into new positions more quickly, perform better and stay with the company longer.
Lack of budget, lack of expertise, no digital culture – how to achieve success despite of all this?
The most common mistakes made in employee referral programs are missing or inefficient processes that cause frustration among colleagues. The motivation to participate vanishes – and the program no longer delivers the expected results. The following points will put you on the road to success:
1. Plan procedures and processes.
Before you start, you have to think through and establish the mechanics of the program. What information does the company provide about vacancies, and how can employees share this information? How are recommendations managed and integrated into the recruiting process or the applicant management system? Which legal aspects must be taken into account with regard to the GDPR?
2. Excel – thanks, but no thanks!
In medium-sized and large companies, it takes more than a few lists to manage all these processes efficiently. A platform like Talentry Jobs acts as a digital control center for all participants and enables the targeted integration of social networks of employees.
3. Integrated communication.
Employees usually don’t come to work and wonder: “Who can I recommend today?” Regular reminders about which jobs need to be filled are therefore essential in order to keep the program running.
4. Create incentives.
The bonus for finding a new employee can be an imaginative gift, an additional vacation or a sum of money. It is important to regulate and communicate the bonus system transparently in order to keep motivation high. Additional commitment can be created with gamification approaches that playfully motivate employees to participate.
5. Make recommendations easy.
Ultimately, the aim is to make it as easy as possible for employees to participate in the program. A digital recommendation platform, which employees can operate intuitively, also supports this. This includes, for example, enabling recommendations with as few clicks as possible via mobile devices.