5 ways to get creative with your employee referral program

When it comes to the hiring market in 2022, cutting through the noise of job boards and reaching qualified candidates directly is a major task. The easiest way to do this is to tap into already existing networks of former colleagues, neighbors and friends of your employees in the form of an employee referral program.

There are myriad reasons why companies rely heavily on employee referrals to retain a full workforce, including the fact that referred candidates are hired four times more often than non-referred candidates. Additionally, these programs allow candidates to move quickly through the hiring process, with an average hire being completed eight days after the start of the hiring process, compared to 11 days without a referral. Employee referral programs produce the kinds of hiring results companies are looking for; in fact, among Hireology’s customers alone, referral programs drive one in eight hires.

However, not all employee referral programs are created equal. Even if your business already has one in place, there is always room for improvement. To prevent your employee referral program from becoming stale, here is a list of five ways to get creative with your employee referral program.

1. Create multi-level ambassador programs.
Harness the competitive side of your employees with a multi-level ambassador program. With this type of program, you design multiple tiers that offer higher rewards and more payouts the more referrals someone submits. For example, someone who refers a candidate can be enrolled in the first level, which pays $500 per hire. But someone who refers three applicants could be enrolled in Tier Two, which would net them $750 per hire and additional corporate loot.

This encourages your employees to refer as many qualified leads as possible. Multiple levels in this arrangement motivate employees to actively recruit from their networks in order to progress through the levels and then receive higher rewards, while receiving previously approved applications.

2. Use social media for referrals.
Your employees already spend time on social media and most of them are connected to hundreds of other people on these profiles. Take advantage of this network by encouraging your team to share open roles on their social media profiles.

You can offer people to enter a lottery to win gift cards, cash prizes, or extra paid time off for each role they share on social media. Or, with modern employee recommendation platforms, you can even provide employees with a personal link that lets you know exactly where job recommendation candidates are coming from, making it even easier to reward. your employees for role sharing and candidate conduct.

3. Focus on values ​​in your recruiting programs.
Another way to get creative with your employee referral program is to create one designed to hire people who match your company’s values, expanding your network of potential referral candidates.

With this type of program, you can broaden your employment parameters to candidates who meet certain values ​​rather than your preferred list of skills and experiences. Many trades can be learned, but values ​​are difficult to reshape; sometimes encouraging your employees to recommend people who exemplify certain values ​​rather than skills can help you find candidates who are a better fit for you in the long run. These types of programs can also be used to diversify your existing workforce.

4. Renew messaging with seasonal pushes.
With each passing season, the world and the workforce continue to change. Chances are your business is always in need of new staff. People are always necessary to some degree. Some businesses are experiencing temporary hiring and labor shortages, but the ideal time to avoid understaffing is before it affects your customers. That’s why implementing an employee referral program seasonally with a simple rebrand can make all the difference in the hiring process and keep your business running smoothly.

For example, during the holiday season, you could encourage employees to participate in this type of program by using messages like “Want to earn some extra cash for the holidays?” Refer your friends to earn $1,000” or “Enjoy your vacation to relax after earning $1,000 by referring a friend”. With simple tweaks to messaging, which you use to accommodate changing seasons, you can reuse the same rewards program forever.

5. Target specific locations.
Say, for example, your branch in North Carolina is fully staffed, but the one in Kansas desperately needs employees. Instead of launching a company-wide referral campaign, you can customize your employee referral messaging to only receive candidates from the places you really need them. By channeling your resources to the locations that need them most, you maximize your buying power and maximize your return on investment all at once.

Employee referral programs work, as long as you work hard to motivate your team to participate. Try one of the strategies above to breathe new life into your program today.

Madeline Cecile is a content writer for Hireology.

Ryan H. Bowman