Why Isn’t My Employee Referral Program Successful?

HR teams truly have their work cut out for them these days. We’re living in the Great Resignation, a time when internal talent is as difficult to retain as it is to find new talent. Staffing shortages and general upheaval on the hiring front mean that hiring managers must leverage every tool available to find the talent they need. Job boards, sourcing, even third-party vendor partnerships will yield candidates but there is one resource right in front of you that could potentially help more than any of these channels. One of the most effective ways to find great job candidates is actually through your current staff. If you’re not getting candidates from internal employee referrals you are missing the boat.

What’s Blocking Your Employee Referral Program?

Most companies have an employee referral program set up. It’s a safe assumption, though, to say that most companies probably aren’t maximizing the benefits from this candidate resource. If you’re not getting the referral candidates you hoped for there could be one or more issues thwarting your success:

The process is too complicated.

If it’s a hassle to submit a candidate to your recruiting team, how likely do you think your employees will be to follow that process? Your process should be streamlined so a click or two provides the company with the referral information. This process should be optimized for a smartphone. It should also allow the employee to link to a social page like LinkedIn to share their network with your team.

Perhaps your rewards aren’t of real value to the employee.

Some companies fail to offer rewards for qualified candidates who ultimately take the job. Huge mistake. Still, others offer the wrong kind or not enough of an incentive so that the employee, again, doesn’t think it’s worth the effort. Ask yourself if your employees are actually motivated by the reward you offer. Does the reward offer a personalized choice where the employee can pick the incentive that actually means something to them? In our experience, the rewards don’t have to be high-dollar, but they should be meaningful in some way that matters to the employee.

Are you sure that your employees even know which positions are open at your company?

How regularly are you letting your workforce know that you have a particular job open—and you pay for referrals? Then, if the employee makes the referral, what kind of communication is there that keeps them in the loop for the hiring process? Remember that turnover can create knowledge gaps within your team. So, reminding your current staff regularly about your referral program will help you improve on their response.

Is there a cultural problem?

If your employees aren’t happy in their jobs then, of course, they’re not going to refer their friends to come work for your organization. If your company has a revolving door, then it makes sense that you’re not getting the flow of referrals you wanted. If your workforce enjoys the company culture then they will be more willing to invite others to come play in your sandbox. Build a company culture that is diverse and rewards good work with professional development, great benefits, work/life balance, and more. If you build a happy workforce, the referrals will come!

Contact ADD STAFF Today

ADD STAFF is standing by to help your company meet its hiring goals. Contact us today to fill your recruiting funnel tomorrow.