When we hear good things about an employer, either from a friend or from a professional acquaintance, it makes us want to work there. That’s why we’re seeing employee referral programs gaining in popularity, and it’s for good reason - referrals reduce the time to hire by almost 50%. If you’re looking to expand your employee acquisition channels, engage with your employees and snap up some great talent, then read on!
A company’s greatest advocate is its employees and the more vocal they are about you, the better. We already learned in the first edition of this blog series that most people read on average 6 reviews of a business before applying for a role there, so how can we leverage the good feeling from current employees to encourage greater employment branding?
Employee referral programs incentivise current employees to really spread the word of the company narrative you want to present. Employees don’t have to proactively search out potential employees, but a positive post at the right time on Glassdoor or social media could make all the difference…
In all likelihood when employees are referring their friends, family or professional acquaintances, they’re referring potential employees that possess the qualities needed to be successful within your organisation. They already know the referral’s strengths and weaknesses, and because they know the referral’s performance could reflect back on them, you’ll only receive candidates that the current employee is personally vouching for in a professional capacity. It’s super effective - LinkedIn found that referred employees are 23 percent less likely to quit than other hires.
Referred candidates will likely be mentored through the hiring process, as your current employee will advise them on the best course of action to be successful. That might seem unfair but this is part and parcel of hiring, and it actually benefits all parties. For example, the new hire is aware of all the responsibilities and expectations of the organisation prior to the company-mandated onboarding.
We all know how important working culture is, and it can be rather difficult to maintain in the current environment. But what we perhaps don’t know is that studies have shown those organisations with rich company culture have less than 14 percent turnover, while those with poor working cultures exceed 48 percent turnover. But low turnover isn’t all you get with a good working culture, it produces happier, more productive workers! Of course, knowing the power of a strong company culture doesn’t mean it’s easy to foster one. A first step is to introduce the organisation’s vision, mission and cultural values during the interview, and then look for candidates who align accordingly . Fortunately, when you have employees that already understand all these pieces referring their contacts, you usually end up with applicants who understand and share the values, as well.
Having disengaged employees is an expensive business. Gallup estimates that disengaged employees cost the U.S. upwards of $550 billion in lost productivity each year. Worst of all, they found that 70 percent of American workers are not reaching their potential, with 52 percent not engaged and 18 percent actively disengaged from their jobs. So many are getting left behind, in jobs they don’t enjoy or don’t feel valued in.
Employee referral programs help increase attachment to the organization and make employees feel as though they have a stake in the future of the business. Employees want to grow, so having a hand in the company’s forward motion is exactly what they’re looking for. The right incentive for a referral can leave an employee feeling appreciated, which will in turn help raise motivation, another huge hurdle in engagement.
Currently, 63 percent of companies report having a documented employee referral program, and many more have an informal referral system. While organising and implementing a referral program is a challenge, it’s one that will yield tremendous results. A growth in applications and qualified leads as well as improved culture and employee engagement is all but assured.
Next in the series: Managing your Glassdoor reputation