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Common mistakes to avoid when it comes to referral recruitment programs

For most companies actively hiring in a tight job market, LinkedIn is the most important recruitment tool. However, that is exactly the reason why LinkedIn is increasingly becoming saturated. Every recruiter is active and dependent on it. In order to still be able to attract top talent, companies are searching for new ways to find those candidates. So, there is a shift noticeable in which companies move forward to the usage of referral programs. However, when taking a closer look at those referral programs there are often made some common mistakes. Let’s look at them!

Poor information provided to employers regarding referral program and new vacancies

Providing clear and conclusive information to employees regarding the referral program is crucial. Not only for the number of candidates that your recruitment team receives but also for the quality of those candidates. Therefore, sharing the right vacancies and the type of candidates wanted is a significant part of a well-run referral program.

Furthermore, for a referral program to be successful it is important that employees are aware of the conditions and rewards associated with it. Creating a referral program but not promoting it inside your organization is of no use. So, it is important to have this kind of information easily accessible for your employees. A great way to achieve this is by creating a sort of flyer that presents all the information about the referral program in a visual way. This can be uploaded on your company’s intranet, send out by email or even printed.

Another great way to improve your referrals program’s efficiency is by bringing it to the attention of new employees. In my experience scheduling ‘evaluation meetings’ with new hires about his or her views about the application process is a great opportunity to tell them more about the referral program as well. This way it will come off more naturally and won’t feel like just another ‘sales talk’ for the employee.

Not actively stimulating

Actively stimulating the referral program is an important aspect of its potential success. A simple, yet effective method for this is holding referral competitions. It’s nothing more than a competition in which every referrer receives a certain amount of points for referring candidates. At the end of the competition the top 3 employees receive a prize. So, besides the regular bonusses employees get for referring a new colleague they also have a chance to win prizes. This is a great way to bring attention to the referral program once more and at the same time improve the number of candidates that get referred.

Bad (or no) follow-up on candidates

Of course, following up on referrals is important. Not only for your employer brand but also for the internal image of the referral program. When candidates are not being followed up, referrers will eventually become disappointed and refrain from referring new candidates in the future. To keep employees engaged with your referral program it is advisable to keep them in the loop regarding the application process of their referrals. By doing this you create engagement and they will be more motivated to keep referring candidates.

Rewards not being proportionate and not awarded on time

For employees, the balance between the effort they have to make and the reward is very important. This can be easily tackled by making the rewards worthwhile for your employees. Do some research and ask around to see what type of rewards would encourage colleagues to refer new candidates. And of course, don’t forget to pay them on time.

About Author

Hirebel is focused on providing you with valuable insights on how to improve your career and how to get the most out of your working life. Occasionally there are sidesteps to topics related to new technologies that enable people to achieve their (life) goals.

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