Imagine you just won the lottery but you can’t pick up the prize for six months. How would that make you feel? Frustrate? A little cheated?
Most employee referral programs build that frustration build right in. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Employee referral programs are a great way to find great employees. Your current employees likely know talented people they would like to work with. Some companies find the majority of their new talent through employee referral programs, reducing the time to fill and increasing the quality.
Let’s leverage those contacts to add to your team!
Typical programs are set up like this: Employees make a referral. The referred individuals might get interviewed, might even get hired. Then the programs usually require that the referred new hire work successfully for some months, sometimes as long as six months. Then only the person who referred the employee who was hired gets a reward. Rewards can be pretty high, ranging from $1000 to $5000 or more per hired referral.
That is the delayed gratification built into most employee referral programs. It is frustrating to wait months to get a reward. Today’s workers expect rewards and feedback quickly. Delayed reaction reduce the effectiveness of employee referral programs. After a while, many programs structured this way will fade away.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Job search is a numbers game. So let’s change around our employee referral programs to support that job search numbers game!
Let’s reward leads instead of hires! An employee gets a reward for every name or resume submitted, whether the candidate works out or not.
Here are five advantages to rewarding leads:
- Rewarding leads encourages a larger talent pool. Employees are not going to refer people who will embarrass them so the more people they refer the better.
- It gives employees immediate gratification for their participation.
- It gets employees more involved in recruiting. More eyes will focus on talent acquisition. Recruiting becomes a company-wide endeavor not just confined to the HR department.
- It gives an additional depth to the relationships employees have on LinkedIn if they are also looking for potential leads.
- It keeps employees interests in an age of immediate feedback.
Rewards for leads can be smaller and more immediate like smaller amounts of money, tickets for a regular raffle, gift cards or company branded stuff.
Make the program more fun with a branded communication program will keep your employee referral program vibrant. Use games, contests and some fun prizes to increase the number of leads. Contests and raffles can be held quarterly with a raffle ticket earned for each referral. More referrals, more chances to win a nice prize like a TV or tickets to a fun local event.
You can still offer a larger prize when someone is hired. You can vary the size of the larger prize for positions that are more difficult to find or more critical to find in a short time frame.
To increase the size and quality of your talent pool and reduce your time to fill, get your employees involved in a fun employee referral program. Reward leads as well as hires to offer immediate gratification that keeps the employees motivated and focused on the big talent picture.
The Interview Doctor can help! Contact me at Katherine at Interview Doc.com to create a program that supports your business goals.
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