Employee referrals should be an essential part of your recruiting process.
According to a study done by the University of California – Berkley, employees who are referred to our organizations perform better and are 30% less likely to quit, than other referral sources.
It makes sense. In general, people refer friends and family for employment when they are happy with the company and plan to stay. Those who are currently employed with us they already know the negatives about the job and company – those “push” factors that tend to drive people out of our organizations. They very likely have shared those negative push factors with their friends and family, so the referred applicant isn’t surprised by those things in the first few weeks.
In effect, those newly hired teammates have two powerful retention and engagement forces working in their favor. They joined a company where they already knew many of the negative factors and still wanted the job, and they already have a “best friend” at work – which is a key driver in retention.
As important as those two factors are, employee referrals have many other positives that can help improve engagement. Referred employees tend to quickly attach to and trust the new organization. It is easy for them to onboard and navigates their new employment home – they tend to quickly feel like they “belong” and are cared for.
The positives go on. Look at some of the research Dr. John Sullivan compiled with the help of Staffing.org and Jobvite. He research also found employee referrals were more satisfied and engaged and were less likely to leave (based on 12 month and 24 month employment statistics).
He also found that employees who made employee referrals who were hired were more likely to stay with the company than those who had not referred anybody to the organization.
Given the positive impact of employee referrals, spend some time thinking about how you can increase the number of employee referrals your organization gets. Here are some ideas from companies who do an excellent job of encouraging referrals and harvesting high performers from those referrals.
Make sure you model the behavior you want from the top down.Company leaders should be intentional about referring new employees in and keep a look out for talent at all levels that they can refer.
Make it easy to refer people. Clearly communicate – and often – to employees about how to refer people for a job. Given all the evidence around how good the referrals are they should be fast-tracked into the interview process.
Reward employees for referrals who are hired. Pay referral bonuses with cash, gift cards, or other incentives that make them feel appreciated after they refer a hire. It reinforces the behavior we want to repeat and increase.
Run contests. Heavy hiring times are a wonderful time to run a contest to increase employee referral results.
Who do you know that should join your company? A neighbor, somebody who gave you great service at a local business, a former co-worker you would like to work with again? Get creative, identify some potential candidates, and reach out to them today!
Let us know if we can help you improve employee engagement in your organization!