Referral Program Best Practices?

We’ve heard several stories of high performing organizations offering large five-figure referral bonuses to anyone who generates the company’s next rock star new-hire through a referral program. These referral bonuses are usually tied to high producing/high talent type positions that can make a significant impact on the company’s balance sheet. We are curious to hear what you have seen companies using in regards to referral program best practices. It is clear that everyone seems to be doing something different. Some are ignoring their underperforming referral programs, some are still trying to figure it out and some are using it to rapidly expand their business.

After doing some homework on the topic, you will find that the consensus is always that the best hires are made through referrals. No one knows your culture like your employees and those who have insider knowledge of your business. These people are the most qualified to identify and recruit the like-minded talent needed to continue growing the footprint of the business. As an added benefit, employees who have a vested interest in the success of new hires are more likely to think more like business owners and feel more empowered. A double win if you will.

A well-designed referral program can generate a large volume of potential candidates in a short period of time. Austin Merritt, COO of Software Advice, a company that reviews recruiting software, mentions adding recruiting parties to the mix as an efficient way of making the initial
vetting process less time consuming and more casual in a recent article on the New Talent Times blog.
Merritt suggests inviting the company’s decision makers to mingle with a group of up to 25 potential candidates for conversation and appetizers in the office after normal business hours. Conducting 25 individual first round interviews can take weeks to schedule, execute and complete.

We are interested to hear unique stories about what creative organizations in rapid-growth mode are doing in regards to referral programs. Dinner with the CEO, free Porsche for a week, five-figure referral bonus or $10 Starbucks gift card. What kind of referral program best practices have you run across in your career?

-Rob Havey, UDig Director of Recruiting


Rob HaveyReferral Program Best Practices?

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