Employee Referral Schemes. Do you have one? If not, why not?
Your employees (provided they enjoy working for you!) should be your employer brand ambassadors. They know the ins and outs of what it is like to work for you. They can fly the flag for the amazing business you are building and answer the questions from a perspective that HR can only garner from employee engagement surveys and company marketing materials.
In theory, you also trust (and like) the people you have employed – and surely more people like them within your business can only be a good thing?
So how do you go about it? First tip for a successful employee referral scheme – make sure there is an incentive on offer. In my opinion, gift cards or loyalty schemes are great – but nothing is more effective than an offer of cash. An employee referral bonus if you will. Just make sure that the terms of the pay-out are simple and super clear to avoid any confusion later down the line.
Next – make sure your team actually know it exists. Ensure that every time you have a new role go live on your website, an email goes round the team asking for referrals and reminding them of the referral bonus available. The amount of employers who have these schemes in place, but no-one actually knows about it is crazy.
Look after the referrals. If someone in your team does make the effort to refer a potential candidate, make sure you prioritise and look after them. If they aren’t right for the role, tell the person who referred them, then give the candidate a call and explain directly. If they are a good match for the role, then treat them like royalty. The chances are, as well as being ‘good on paper’, the person who referred them has hopefully done their ‘employer brand ambassador’ duties, assessing them for culture fit, and engaging the candidate with your company and the role.
Finally – don’t be afraid to ask your employee for a ‘character reference’ of sorts before pursuing their referral. Whilst it’s unlikely people will refer someone who is a complete nightmare to work with, it’s always worth asking why they are referring that person, and what they think they could bring to the role or the company.
So going back to my original question. If you don’t have an employee referral scheme in place already – why not?