Employee Referral Program Ideas to Help Modernize Your Business

Employee referral programs are a fantastic way to focus and improve your recruiting process. When your trusted staff refers a friend for a position, the business benefits from the pre-existing employee relationship. Your employees can also give their friends the inside scoop on a position in a way that a manager might not be able to, thus ensuring a candidate who is fully informed and interested in the position. But how do you encourage your employees to make a referral? We’ve put together a short list of employee referral program ideas to provide you with some ideas and inspiration!

Let Your Employees Be Charitable

Employee referral programs are often the most successful when you offer an incentive for your employees. Since a cash prize is likely to be considered income, your employees might have financial, tax-related reasons to be wary. That is, the bonus might bump them into the next tax bracket and create negative outcomes in a variety of ways. But there are ways to include a cash prize that benefits both your employees and their philanthropic desires.

A way to gain more participation from your employees is offering to donate the money to their favorite charity in lieu of a direct payout. Providing your employees the opportunity for a charitable donation will make them feel great and give your business a bigger purpose. As an added benefit, your employee can write the donation off on their taxes and achieve a net gain for their efforts.

Throw a Beer or Wine Party

Employee referral programs are all about networking. While some employees may not enjoy socializing, it can come naturally for others. But having full employee participation when it comes to a referral program reflects well on the business and the overall culture.

A more modern employee referral program idea is to throw a beer or wine party. This event can be held on or off-site and can be hosted in a variety of ways. Whether you want to host your employees’ friends or want to reward your employees once they have referred, this is a great way to thank them for their efforts.

Parties can also be wonderful for employee morale. If you choose to host potential candidates, it will give them the opportunity to meet the team in casual, non-threatening fashion. Think of it as an informal culture interview! Knowing ahead of time whether or not the referral meshes well with your current employees will provide you with an advantage and make your employees feel involved in the hiring and referral process.

Host a Friendly Competition

In order to incentivize employee participation in the referral program, create a friendly competition. For instance, you might tally up how many candidate referrals resulted in interviews, second interviews, or even hires. Many people enjoy a competition, especially if a prize is on the line.

You could also award a grand prize for whoever recruits or refers the top candidate. If you are doing wide-scale hiring, the grand prize could go to the employee who recruited the most successful candidates. Prizes could range from gift cards, extra PTO, or even a referral bonus!

Be sure to make the competition as fair and even as possible for all those who choose to participate. Remember, you want your employees to feel excited about referring not turned off by it.

Put a Prize on the Line

A prize, or a variety of prizes, will sweeten the deal for your employees when it comes to making referrals. As a prize, you might offer employee referral bonuses. You could offer one large, winner-take-all prize to the employee who refers the top, hired candidates. Or, you could offer a series of prizes for those who referred the largest number of qualified candidates, or whose candidates made it the farthest in the process.

This is your opportunity to make this process fun. When it comes to employee referral program ideas and modernizing the process creativity is key. The prize does not have to money related. It could be a pizza party for the department, an item for their desk, or a fun company outing. If you want even more employee participation, let them throw in their ideas for a prize and then choose at random. This idea is meant to bring the company together and make the referral process fun and exciting.

Rush Recruiting and HR Can Assist

Employee referral programs are a great way to use your best resource, your employees, to your advantage. Your employees are what makes your company great. Make them feel a part of the company and they will reward you with great referrals.

With our consultation, you can make your referral program the best it’s ever been. Call us today to discuss how we can help you!

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