5 Steps To Improving Your Employee Referral Program

Employee referral programs are one of the most effective tools in every organisation’s talent acquisition strategy. While the most successful take time and investment to get right, they are proven to reduce both time-to-hire and cost-of-hire. 

Integrated with your talent recruitment systems, employee referral programs provide a consistent source of pre-qualified talent into your pipeline. According to ERE.net, no less than 40% of your hires should be sourced through your company’s employee referral program (ERP).  Employee referrals generally result in a higher ‘applicant to hire’ conversion rate, greater job satisfaction and a longer tenure of employment, with almost half of hires staying with an employer for three years[1].

Successful ERPs require more than a standard e-mail to your employees to find out if they ‘know’ a suitable candidate. These five steps will help to produce a more streamlined and effective referral system.

Prioritise your vacancies

Employee referral programs are most effective for filling strategically vital roles in areas where talent is notoriously scarce. Prioritising your vacancies will allow employees to focus on specific roles and avoid inundating your talent recruitment systems with candidates who would naturally apply through your online recruitment channels.

Integrate your program with your online recruitment systems

A modern recruitment management system will offer full integration with social media channels. This makes it easier for employees to post to their own networks and search more quickly through their contacts to find a suitable match for your vacancy. 

Simplify the process with recruiting software

The most efficient recruiting software incorporates applicant tracking systems, automatic posting of vacancies to social media and an ability to monitor the progress of individual employee referrals. Automated talent recruitment systems also provide a flow of updates to referrers on the progress of their recommended candidate which is essential to encourage future referrals.

Create a separate pipeline within your ATS

Applicants received from employee referrals should be processed through a separate ‘VIP’ channel rather than being subjected to standard initial screening through your applicant tracking software. Employee referrals focus on hard to come by talent; allocate prospective candidates VIP access before tagging. The aforementioned article by ERE.net listed the failure to tag referral applications through your applicant tracking system as a ‘referral program killer’.

Encourage employee referrals

Creating a successful ERP means you must build a pipeline to generate a constant flow of talent into your applicant tracking software.

Maintain interest with the following actions:-

  • Provide prompt feedback to referrers on the suitability of their referral, ideally within the first 72 hours.
  • Introduction of incentives and a reward program to consistent referrers.
  • Rewards should be made promptly to avoid dwindling interest in the program.
  • Request future referrals from new hires during the onboarding process.
  • Provide feedback for every referral to enable a better candidate match in the future.

Track the progress of referrals and ensure consistent engagement with candidates and referrers through your recruiting software and integrated applicant tracking system.

Advorto is used by a number of leading organisations to control their talent recruitment lifecycle and improve their quality of hire. Our recruiting software includes an employee referral tracking system. Contact us today to see how we can help your organisation to attract qualified talent into your pipeline.  



[1] Source : www.theundercoverrecruiter.com

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