Employee Referral Programs: Happy Co-Workers, Better Candidates – Harvard

It has been said that good people refer good people. Tapping into your existing employee base for your next wave of new hires can be a great way to bring talent into your business. Referral programs offer incentives to your current staff, allow your employees to be comfortable working with one another, and increase your overall productivity. Here are some ways to implement an effective employee referral program:

  • Bonus based on performance. While you will be able to vet and prescreen new candidates referred by your top employees, it is important to see them on the job to ensure they will work out in the new role. Don’t pay an employee referral bonus until the new team member has worked successfully for 30 days. Or you may want to pay a partial bonus at the time of hire and the rest after two or three months on the job.
  • Different departments. Your employees’ friends and family members may be great at what they do, but distractions can happen in any office. It may be best to consider referral employees for other departments of your business, depending on the closeness of the relationships. Utilize your employee referrals to staff a wide variety of positions within your company.
  • Be open for suggestions. Even when you’re not actively hiring, don’t disregard candidate referrals. Always meet with people who have been referred by your top performers – whether or not you have a current open position. You may decide there is a perfect fit where you didn’t expect one or you can keep their information available for when the time to hire does come around.
  • Tap into their professional networks. It may also be time to advance the art of referrals in the information age. Your employees are more than likely tapped into the network on LinkedIn, so be sure to connect with them online. They may add new people to their network frequently and you never know if one of those candidates may be perfect for your organization.

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