Research consistently shows that employee referrals have exceptional conversion and retention rates, they lower recruiting costs and expedite the time to hire and secure top talent for those hard-to-fill positions. Many studies have found that referred employees typically are able to pick up on tasks and adjust to the company culture faster, needless onboarding, and ultimately are more satisfied in their roles, thus staying longer at the company.

Although the research highlights many benefits of employee referral programs, they are still widely overlooked and underutilized by employers and candidates. Many companies have referral programs, but most of them are not meeting their goals. Below are a few suggestions for employers to improve and promote their employee referral program as well as for potential candidates to use the referral program to their advantage.


Advertise, Educate, and Reward

Employees may not even know about the referral program, how to use it or what positions are open in the company.

  • Consider sharing open positions on the company social media feed, weekly newsletters, or hosting a learning session to show employees what positions are open and how to develop a relevant referral list
  • Aside from monetary bonuses, public recognition and running company contests to rack up referrals are great and gratifying rewards that will encourage everyone to participate and feel acknowledged.

Keep it Simple

Make referral submissions easy and mobile-friendly with just a few clicks.

  • Have employees share the basics of their referrals: name, email, and phone number.
  • Any additional information should be provided by the referred candidate.

Update Employees and Candidates

Not keeping referrers informed will discourage employees from participating in the program and thus missing out on potential talent.

  • Invest in an automated referral system or assign someone the job of ensuring that every referral and referrer is contacted and updated throughout the process.


Check In with Current Contacts

Inquire about referral programs with people you know to let them know you are available and interested.

  • Contact previous employers, colleagues, or other professional connections to help your job search by possibly finding a referral opportunity.

Expand Your Network

The more people you connect with on- or off-line, the more you will be able to find different job opportunities as well as potentially be considered by someone in your network for a position.

  • Attend public conferences or industry events to network within your field.
  • Connect and engage with people on different social media platforms, especially on LinkedIn, to get your name out there and become a familiar face in your industry.

Use a Staffing Agency

Staffing agencies are first-rate referrers as they take the time to get to know a candidates strengths, weaknesses, skillsets, and preferences in order to find the best fit for the company and the candidate.

  • Connect with recruiters who have direct contact and trust with hiring managers of different companies and serve as a great reference.



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