Having worked in staff augmentation and contract staffing for most part of my career, I understand that when it comes to hiring, employee referral scores the most among all other recruitment means for the obvious reason that it is quick and selective plus it offers candidates who already are familiar with your culture and processes.
Here’s what an employee referral program is like for most of the organizations. HR rolls out a requirement calling for referrals, screen, select and hire among them and pay the referring employee a bonus amount once the new hire completes his probation. OK, so you have the process in place and you follow it sincerely but are you actually making the best of your process? Do you feel that your employees hesitate to refer their ex-colleagues, friends and family for the job? If yes, you probably need to motivate and encourage them to participate more. But how…..More money, better rewards? Let’s get real, not every organization is ready to invest more in its employee referral program and this is where HR can contribute by improving the overall referral hiring experience for employees as well as the candidates. When I was faced with a similar situation at work with an ex-employer, I and my team decided to focus more on engagement and acknowledgement throughout the process and the outcome was remarkable.
This is what we did-
Know the referring employee
While in conversation with the candidate, we would mention (something good) about employee who referred him. For employees, there’s nothing like knowing from their friends and family that their employer values them. For bulk hiring or walk-ins, it is not easy to record and recognize the referring employees during the screening and short listing but once the initial phase is done, take time to learn about referring employees and bring them in conversation.
Keep employee involved
Is the candidate shortlisted, when is he going to be interviewed, is he selected or not, when will you get back to the candidate about the result…it is important to keep employees informed about the hiring progress because they are constantly buzzed for updates by those they referred. When employees feel involved, they are more willing to help a next time.
Do not delay candidate feedback
When you are hiring through employee referrals, you are more responsible towards the candidates because they are linked to your current employees. Don’t keep them waiting and guessing, selected or not just inform them. A little more of e-mail work helps to win employees trust in the process.
Appreciate your employees for their participation in the employee referrals program. Don’t miss the opportunity to thank employees (on e-mails or in person) and let them know you value their cooperation and help.
Avoid struggle for reward
For an organization, its employees are its ambassadors. Motivating, engaging and appreciating them is essential to tap the greater talent pool they are linked to.Pay employee their reward or bonus in time (as per your policy) without having them follow up or put up reminders.