Did you know that hiring a single employee costs $4,129, on average, according to a survey done by SHRM? That is a lot of money to spend per hire. As an HR team, you should do all you can to hire great employees without exorbitant fees. One way that you can do this is by replicating your top talent!
A Peek Into Google’s Referral Program
Google is one of the most well-known companies. Did you know that Google gets well over 2,000,000 applications per year? Even with the number of applicants that Google gets, the only hire a small portion of those applicants. For many people, the thought of sifting through that many applications and only hiring a few thousand applicants makes their head spin.
We can’t all hire at the level of Google, but we can take a few things from how they run their employee referral program.
Recruiters Ask Specific Questions To Get Better Referrals
The recruiters at Google are very intentional when they get referrals from their employees. Instead of asking employees general questions like, "Who is the best technology person you know?" They may ask about specific types of technology (i.e. coders or IT technicians) in a particular location. Asking specific questions helps employees remember the people they want to refer. By asking these questions, Google is also able to tone down the number of answers they get to only the relevant ones they can follow up on.
Scroll Through Social Media With Recruiters
Another way that recruiters approached referrals is through social media scrolls. Google employees would scroll through their social media feeds to see if anyone caught their attention. Then the Google recruiting staff could be on hand to write their information down and contact them right away.
Take Action As Quickly As Possible
Action-taking is one of the most critical parts of the Google referral system. Employees felt like they were changing their company because Google acted on referrals right away. Google didn't let referrals sit and collect dust. Instead, they worked on whatever tips they got for excellent employees.
Creating An Engaging Employee Referral Program
While there are many ways to source talent, an engaging employee referral program can be the most cost-effective way to hire. Here are a few tips to help you create an engaging employee referral program:
Make The Program As Easy As Possible
Can your employees easily use your referral program? You may see a lack of use because your program is challenging to use.
Make sure you walk new and existing employees through the process of submitting a referral. You may want to record a walkthrough of the process so that it’s easy for your employees to follow. If there are still lingering questions, open up your office or inbox for additional thoughts and concerns.
Ask For Specifics Like Google
If you want genuinely usable referrals, you need to get specific about what referral questions you ask. Asking for general referrals wastes your time and your employees. When you ask those specific questions, sending referrals your way becomes easier, and you get better candidates. It's a win for everyone involved!
Use A Bonus Program
Using a referral program saves you money. Pass some of that savings on to employees who use your referral program. If a referral is hired, give your employees a small, one-time bonus that makes sense for your company. While a bonus program isn't always the best incentive, depending on your employees, it usually works for many workers.
Increase Employee Awareness Of Your Program
To continue getting amazing referrals from your program, you need to keep it top of mind for your employees. You should:
Add information about your employee referral program to your new member hire packets.
Host frequent employee training about your employee referral program.
Mention new referrals during staff meetings, and in any newsletters you distribute to employees.
What Action Steps Can You Take Now?
We have talked about a lot of information today. You may be wondering: what can I do right now? These are three action steps you can take right now to begin receiving referrals from your employees:
Ask For Referrals For Your Next Open Position
If you want to start the referral process immediately, create a test case. For the next position that you hire for, email your company employees and ask for referrals. This test case will help you understand how viable a referral program will be for your company. If you can hire someone who was referred, this will make a case for your company executives.
Create An Easy To Use Form To Collect Referrals
If you don't want to invest in an employee referral system right away, start with a simple form. You can use Google Forms, Jotform, or Typeform to create a simple form to hold referral information. Forms are a low-cost solution if you want to collect referrals in a more organized way.
Research More Robust Employee Referral Systems
As you are collecting your first few referrals, research other employee referral systems. Forms are a great way to organize your referrals at first, but you need something that is more robust in the long run. Employee referral programs come with better analytics and messaging options than a simple form can manage.
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