Five ways to re-energize your Employee Referral Program

Topics: employee referral programs

Posted by Lisa B. Radloff on Nov 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM


It has long been established that employee referral programs are one of the most successful and cost-effective methods of recruiting employees. Who better than your own employees understand your culture and know others who might be a perfect fit for your organization? For those reasons alone, it’s important to keep your employee referral program robust. How?

Create a constant presence
Is your employee referral program tucked away somewhere in your intranet? Do you promote your program frequently? Do you use multiple media to get the message out? If not, consider:

  • Having regular touchpoints with employees, including emails that encourage participation, thank employees for referrals, and announce successful efforts by congratulating employees for directing you to a new hire.
  • Using traditional methods, such as posters, table tents and referral cards.

Freshen your program branding
Exactly how dated is your employee referral branding? Is it so old that it blends in with the woodwork?

  • Rebrand your program with new, contemporary messaging, and don’t be afraid to make it fun.
  • Consider having a four-part series that freshens the message every three months.

Re-launch your program with a bang
Encourage participation with a social event.

  • Conduct a kick-off party/luncheon for your new employee referral program.
  • During the party, provide a small promotional gift that will keep the program front and center, like a coffee mug.

Make it simple
If your employee referral process takes too long to complete or is cumbersome, you will reduce participation.

  • Be sure to make the referral process quick and easy.
  • Provide your employees with scripted emails they can send to friends.
  • Provide business-size cards employees can hand out to candidates.
  • And be sure to make it easy for candidates to apply as well.

Sweeten the pot
As the saying goes, cash is king. Does your bonus amount truly entice your employees to participate? Consider this: your cost per hire is considerably more than it would be through a referral.

  • Think about offering or increasing cash referral amounts.
  • Include a grand prize, enabling each employee to get an entry for every qualified referral.
  • Also, consider offering employees a thank you gift for each referral made.

Your revamped employee referral program can save time, money and help you achieve your recruitment goals.


Lisa B. Radloff

Since joining NAS in 1998, Lisa has used her strong conceptual skills, sharp ear for dialogue and keen understanding of candidate behavior to produce concepts and copy for print, radio, television and online media for a vast range of clients across many industries.