Why have an employee referral scheme

Utilise your staff's current connections to fill your vacancy by using an employee referral programme.

Referred friends and former colleagues from social and professional networks, put forward by existing employees, are invaluable both in the recruitment process and for securing new clients.

Are you missing out on valuable opportunities by not taking full advantage of your employee's contacts?

Why do employee referrals work so well?

The principal reason that employee referrals are seen as a great way to recruit new talent (or clients), is that it is preferable to work with someone who is known professionally as trustworthy.

The people that your employees refer will often show similar skill sets, mindset and level of professionalism to their referees, and this insider knowledge can surpass what you can garner from application forms or CVs. It is generally much quicker to recruit from referrals, bypassing lengthy processes, and once employed they are more likely to stay with you.

What are the barriers?

Despite these benefits, employee referrals aren't as widespread as they perhaps should be. There are certain obstacles that may prevent your employees from making recommendations.

The main barrier is accountability, if something goes wrong early on then they will be implicit in the fall, and this is a big risk. The process of an employee referring a friend or contact can be time consuming and many may feel it is not their responsibility, rather that of HR or the new business team.

It may also be a simple case of forgetting or not knowing that referral systems, along with reward systems, are often in place. Therefore we always recommend having a very clear and well-publicised process for your existing employees to refer new recruits.

How can you increase referral quantity and quality?

With the recent growth of social media, particularly LinkedIn, appropriate referrals have become all the easier to find and contact. A quick look through or message to your connections could prove very valuable, so encourage your employees to start here.

Implement clear procedures for your staff, illuminating the benefits and offering appropriate rewards for successful referrals. Offering them even half what you might pay a recruitment agent to find someone for you will still be a very attractive reward.

Making the referral process easier and less time consuming, and trying to reduce the stigma of accountability attached to referrals are also good ways to ensure a good flow of new talent coming your way.

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