How to Get Employees to Participate in Your Internal Referral Program

One of the best ways for employers to get hires is through internal referrals.  However, it’s often a challenge for companies to get their employees to consistently participate in a referral program.  The biggest problems are that companies either don’t have a formalized program, don’t effectively communicate the program to their employees, or if they do, there’s no follow through and it is soon forgotten.

Use these tips to help implement a successful internal referral program at your company:

1.    If you don’t have a formalized referral program, the first step is to create one, and make sure it is effectively communicated to your employees.  To ensure that your employees are fully aware of the details and process of the program, try sending out an email, building a page on your website, or holding a meeting or seminar that thoroughly explains how the referral program works.

2.    One of the biggest motivations for referrals is obviously money.   Make sure you have a clearly defined monetary structure for different types and levels of positions.  Also, you should implement some kind of incentive for just referring candidate whether they are hired or not.  If you offer a gift card for lunch, the movies, gas etc. just for referring someone, it will help increase the volume of referrals.

3.    Consistently promoting the referral program is another part of making it successful.  It should be part of your company’s agenda for weekly/monthly meetings.  You can provide further incentive for your employees by creating a contest.  The employee that gives the most referrals over a quarter will receive an extra vacation day or some other kind of bonus.

4.    Make sure to continuously update the employee of where a referral is in the process. Keeping employees in the loop will keep them engaged in the process and even help them refer more qualified talent in the future.