Implementing referral rewards into your company

Referrals are by far the best way to find top talent and separate yourself from the weaker recruiters who use job boards. Your ability to tap into your network for recruiting referrals gives you impressive credibility when selling your services, which also increases your confidence in the value that you can provide.

Referrals create instant trust with the referred candidate while shrinking the process of having to sell yourself. Additionally, referred candidates tend to be more open with recruiters and less evasive. Because referrals are highly targeted, candidates come from direct communication with someone in the field and are found through your network. Let your client list and candidate pool know you appreciate referrals. Keep in touch with past candidates and clients who can refer you to leads. Internal and external referrals are great ways to hire top talent, quickly and efficiently.

Internal vs. External Referrals

Internal referrals, also known as employee referrals, is an internal method for finding candidates. It’s a structured program that companies and organizations use to find talented people by asking their existing employees to recommend candidates from their existing networks.

Internal referrals have become one of the favored and most productive methods for finding talent. However, you must remember that your in-house network is limited by the size of your team. But with external referrals, your company’s collective community – friends, families, acquaintances – is broad and varied. Internal referrals can improve various hiring metrics such as time and cost per hire, quality of hire and employee retention. By limiting referrals to only your company, you’re missing out on great talent.

Let’s say one of your employees left to start at a new company. He knows the perfect fit for your open product designer position. However, he doesn’t bother making a referral because your ERP (employee referral program) is limited to employees only. You’re letting the fact that he isn’t currently employed by your company limit a valuable introduction that could benefit your team.

  • Fosters diversity by allowing a more diverse range of people to make referrals
  • Raises the rate of referrals
  • Increases the potential of rare, highly skilled talent in your pipeline
  • Takes the pressure off your employees
  • Increases your referral network

What’s so great about referrals?

Hiring managers or recruiters might be asking themselves, do people really benefit from referring candidates? The answer is yes, in some small ways they do. They feel good about being able to help connect people whom they respect. Second, it lets them know that they are a person “in the know.” Additionally, they will likely get better treatment from you if they refer quality people to you.

Talking about your career with a stranger can be an intimidating process. When the candidate realizes that you have been referred to them by a trusted friend or co-worker, they feel safer to open up about what they really want in their next move. Being referred also saves them time in evaluating different recruiters to work with. A referral will become attuned to your candidate relationship management process in less time than a candidate from cold outreach. As a recruiter, candidate relationship management helps you engage with talent on an ongoing basis. Long-term recruitment strategies help you maintain connections with every type of candidate, which will also broaden your candidate pool by creating multiple channels for sourcing.

Employee Net Promoter Score

Imagine having employees that were loyal to your organization. Imagine having a team where employees are constantly going above and beyond, providing incredible service to make sure your customers are happy. What if there was a simple way to measure loyalty and then know exactly what makes an employee more likely to be loyal or not? Well, there is. The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). This is used as a way to measure employee loyalty. It measures the likelihood of whether an employee would be willing to recommend your organization as a place to work and the products/services they sell. It gives you insights needed to understand exactly what employees like and don’t like about your organization. NPS is based on a direct question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”  The scoring for this answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale.

  • Promoters are those who respond with a score of 9 or 10—loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth
  • Passives are those who respond with a score of 7 or 8—customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings
  • Detractors are those who respond with a score of 0 to 6—unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth

Keeping track of promoters, passives, and detractors allows you to understand how your employees view the company and how they can be used in the referral process. If you already have an employee referral program set up, these are the first people I’d run to looking for help. If they have friends that are smart and capable, they basically told you they’d be willing to recommend your company as a good place to work, so let them help you find world-class talent.

Use social media as a secret weapon

Referral marketing doesn’t happen on its own. Just like other marketing promotions, your referral program needs to be promoted and fed into your various marketing channels. One of the most powerful channels of promotion is social media. Back in the day, most referrals were through word of mouth. But how does word of mouth happen today? Yes, you’re correct – social media. In today’s world of mobile apps and word of mouth marketing, the easiest way for a consumer to communicate with their friends is via social media. As you can imagine, running a referral program that is social media friendly means you’ll have a higher chance of success. This is especially true if the business already has customers talking about them in these channels. You may only see social media being used to post pretty pictures, but in today’s world, social media is involved in everything – including recruitment.

  • Your candidates are already there – chances are you have a ton of customers already there. You may even have quite a few already following your business page. Because people spend the majority of their free time on social media, you can easily connect with hundreds of people. Use this to your advantage.
  • Social proof will increase ­– people mimic the actions of others. So, if people see their friends talking about a certain brand, then they may be more inclined to check them out, too. Having the option to share your referral program via social media is a great way for customers to help build their own social proof. To make your brand even easier to share, include images in the content shared by customers. Social proof increases when images are used.
  • Make your referral viral– think about how easy it is for something to become viral on a social media platform. If you make social media sharing available, it will happen. Providing the buttons within the user’s dashboard can prime a referral to occur. People retweet, share, copy, and save all sorts of things on social media; your referral program should be one of them.
  • Program promotion is simplified – promotion is easier than organically sharing. Customers will be able to easily see what you post. When you mention your referral program they will see it on their timeline. Plus, when someone mentions you, all their friends will see. This makes it easy for all sorts of people to see who you are, what you’re all about, and get insight into your program.
  • Connect people – Most people who connect to each other have similar interests and/or demographics. This means that your existing customers are often sharing with your ideal customer. Can’t get more targeted than that.

Jobtip’s New Referral Rewards

In return, companies offer different types of rewards. Referral rewards and bonuses are important for a successful program and can range from $1,000 to $3,000, sometimes reaching up to $10,000 in the tech industry. They can also include trips, gifts, vouchers, or other forms of rewards. At Jobtip, we understand the importance of both internal and external referrals. That’s why in addition to offering iPads and iPhones, we’re adding a few more goodies to the list. As of May, we are offering AirPods, Apple Watches, Apple HomePod, gift cards and cash to any internal and external referrals. The reward is covered by Jobtip but the choice of reward to give away is up to you!

Now, before implementing these best practices, it’s important to remember that building a solid networking foundation comes first. A referral program will only work if customers believe in your business or like your product, to begin with. Referrals are simple and effective. Friends, family, old classmates and business acquaintances are all people who understand your company and have networks of their own. In the end, they’re going to be a better gauge of character than a cold email. It’s all about who you know.