The Power of Employee Referrals | Boosting Your Hiring Process

When it comes to the hiring process, have you ever considered creating an employee referral program? Employee referrals are very beneficial in gaining new talent that you can trust. You won’t need to limit yourself to filling a role internally but won’t have to sift through piles of unqualified or blatantly unsuitable CVs to get the employee you want. Employee referrals give you a better chance of gaining a qualified employee by using your team as a source.

So, what are the benefits of employee referrals? Why should you consider putting together an employee referral program? And how would you go about it? We’re breaking it all down in this guide to employee referrals.

Candidate quality goes up

Who knows the company better than your employees? Sure, you might know how it’s run, but your employees know first-hand the role, the culture, the values, and the job requirements. With all that knowledge readily available, they will be able to look at the role and match a candidate to it. They wouldn’t put forward a candidate as one of their employee referrals without knowing that they would fit in well due to all these factors.

With a pool of candidates made up of connections, you can limit your sea of candidates down to the ones that are most likely to fit the role. Referrals have been known to perform better in interviews and stay longer within the company, perhaps due to a stronger sense of loyalty to whoever referred them.

The candidate is more likely to fit in

It stands to reason that the candidate is more likely to fold into the culture of the company since their referral already does. Maybe this is a friend, a family member or an ex-coworker. Whatever the case, they’ve run in the same circles before and come out well enough to get a referral out of it.

This is something that is a concern for employers but is really difficult to nail down. A CV can’t express how an employee will slide into your team and what they expect of company culture. However, if they are a referral, you can be assured by the employee that they will fit in well. All of this will better aid a positive work environment and cultivate a healthy coworker culture.

Less recruitment costs

When it comes to employee referrals, the concept has been shown to cut down on time-to-hire and recruitment costs. Advertising for a job might be time-consuming and eat into budgets, as will outsourcing partners. On the other hand, employee referrals have your hired employees doing some of the work for you already. They can speed up the process by matching you up with someone who is fit for the role quickly, which is crucial in today’s competitive market.

Putting together an employee referral program

Set goals

Your first step is to establish goals and communicate them effectively. These have to be clear to your employees in order to move forward with the employee referral program. Outline what you want to achieve with the program, such as increasing the number or quality of candidates, reducing recruitment costs, or increasing employee engagement? Then ask yourself what it would take to gain these goals, like what would make a quality candidate?

Create an EVP

An Employee Value Proposition is a package that outlines the benefits of working for your organisation. It’s useful to your employees to entice potential candidates and outlines factors like role benefits, company culture, development opportunities, flexible working opportunities, etc.

Encourage your employees

Motivating your employees, if you’re lucky, might just come down to pride in their work, but if you’re not seeing much engagement in the program, perhaps it’s time to consider some incentive. Sure, they’re helping out a friend and aiding the company’s success, but they might need an extra push. Consider offering referral bonuses or a recognition program where you spotlight your employees’ successful referrals on your website or social media.

Any challenges?

Employee referrals are not a bulletproof concept, however. You might come across problems with biases, where employees favour someone who isn’t right for the job, or if the candidate gets the job, they’re favoured over everyone else. It’s important to point out that everyone is to be treated equally and being referred doesn’t give the candidate a leg up. There is also an issue with conflict of interest that might crop up over time. Avoid favouritism by setting limits on how many referrals an employee can make.

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