Employee referral program is undoubtedly one of the most resourceful recruitment tools to boost sustainable workforce, if effective. As a cost-effective tool, it reduces the stress in talent acquisition by providing top-talents through recommendations. Aside from allowing employers to turn their workforce into recruiters, experts suggest that referred employees are more likely to stay at their jobs longer than those hired through a traditional recruitment process. Thereby, promoting business retention while also maintaining the reliable productivity expected.

Building an effective employee referral program is solely an employer's role, and the process of building one is crucial. A top researcher in referrals at Meritage Talent Solutions, Kara Yarnot says, “When you only have so many recruiters and so many resources to reach out to candidates, it helps to have a great referral program to empower all of your employees to help in sourcing.”

Having recognized employee referral program as an essential tool and identified your goals for the program such as workforce diversity, where a specific group of employees may be expected to refer more candidates, the following steps is paramount in building any effective employee referral program.

Step one – Provide a user-friendly application process

A user-friendly application process is a crucial factor in the number of candidates that would apply for the job; the same applies to your referrals. If your application procedure is complicated, lengthy or requires a lot of clicks to complete, you are running a risk of receiving fewer applications and referrals.

Build an easy application process and as well as referrals using referral software or platform. Make sure they enable hiring managers and recruiters to send referral requests for each job position quickly. The system should also allow your employees to share open positions using social media platforms. Lastly on your user-friendly application process, ensure to integrate application tracking systems (ATSs) to help in managing the process easily. 

Step two – Educate your employees on job responsibilities and referral

It’s important that your employees understand that not every acquaintance or friend can make a great colleague. Your employees may refer individuals not suitable for the job positions because you have not educated them on the job responsibilities required in the positions. Highlighting what is required for the open positions will be helpful to your employees as they evaluate their candidate’s skills, personality, and business connections before referring them.

You may also consider using this opportunity to educate your employees on the application procedure; this helps their candidates in completing the applications without facing challenges.

Step three – Give feedback on every process and evaluate your referral program

Aside from giving incentives to employees with good referral records, it is important to update the employees on the recruitment stages. This information will encourage them to refer candidates again. Also, send referrers an email to thank them even when their candidates are not selected for interviews.

Lastly, it’s also important to evaluate your referral program to find out the areas that should be improved. This can be done through internal surveys

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