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How Do You Build An Employee Referral Culture?

It’s hiring season. And, just as you thought, those applications are pouring in. Unfortunately, none of them seem to fit the bill. What do you do now? 

You look to your employees, of course! It just so happens that they are the perfect set of people when it comes to recommending the right candidate. The only question is: How do you go about creating an engaging referral program for employees in the first place?  

Well, all you need to do is stick to these four core ideas:

  • The right rewards 
  • Transparency
  • Automation
  • Positive affirmation 

Are you itching to learn how to do it all? Let’s get to it, then! 

Building a referral program for employees from the ground up 

Nurturing a culture where employees willingly recommend others for a position isn’t easy. However, when it happens, it says a lot about your organization. Primarily, it’s a testament to what you’ve been able to build. 

Here’s how you can experience that feeling too:  

1. Reward people the right way in your referral program for employees

What do you get out of referrals? Qualified candidates! Now, don’t you think your employees should get something in return for helping you? 

So, rewarding your workforce will not only show them that you recognize their efforts but also encourage them to make future referrals. Anything works here—monetary incentives, gift vouchers, and even short sponsored holidays. 

However, keeping track of everything can be challenging, especially if several people recommend applicants simultaneously. In such cases, your best bet is to rely on automated tools like Suitable AI. 

Besides helping you craft intelligent referral program for your employees, the platform lets you set up a tiered reward structure. Essentially, employees get something exciting for each step their referred candidate takes in the hiring process. Better yet, there are boosters to rack up those points even faster.  

Remember, recognizing engagement rather than the outcome helps build a culture of inclusivity. 

2. Speak to your audience 

The more transparent you make things, the higher the chances someone brings an excellent candidate around for an interview. 

Concise job descriptions are crucial here.  

In case you needed to refresh your memory a little, the two fundamental things you need to convey when announcing a position are: 

  • What the organization expects from the new hire 
  • What the new employee should expect from the company in return 

An honest depiction of the organization will help you hire better and also build stronger workplace relationships. Still, you needn’t go into exhaustive details about everything. Suitable AI can help you create the perfect listing through expertly crafted templates.  

Set your diversity preferences or highlight the position responsibilities—with the proper execution, everything’s fair game. And when your employees see that crystal-clear post, they’ll come up with just the right person for the job. 

3. Track everything and let others do the same  

Most companies leave automation out of the process while building a referral program for employees. Do you want to know what that leads do? Utter failure. 

Your workforce needs to be invested in the hiring program if you want referrals to come in. And, incidentally, not being able to track how their referred candidate is faring can turn most people off from the process. 

The easiest way to deal with this issue is to opt for a referral platform. Suitable AI can help in this regard. It’s all very straightforward: 

  • Managers post a vacancy with the help of a predefined job template 
  • Employees receive a notification on their platform profiles or the integrated Slack channels  
  • They see the job description and the approved reward parameters and submit a referral 
  • A separate channel lets the employees track the status of the applicant right up until they get hired 
  • Each successful step the candidate takes rewards the person who referred them 

On the other end, recruiters track all the submitted applications on their platform profiles. All of this leads to one thing—a single, streamlined and transparent referral process. 

4. Let your employees rise and shine 

The secret to a successful employee referral program lies in your workforce entrusting their professional network to you.  

Don’t get it wrong—they aren’t just going to hand it over. You need to earn it. So, reaffirm your faith in them and show them that they matter. It’s not that difficult—host a few ‘get-to-know’ each other sessions, implement a Learning & Development program and, most importantly, give them due respect.

Positively reinforcing your employees and recognizing their work can create miracles. In short, make them realize that the company is as much theirs as it is yours. 

Once you achieve that, it’s only a matter of time before you get a hold of their professional connections. From business development executives to advertising and marketing heads—anyone your organization could ever want will be right there. 

After that, you can add those contacts to your company’s referral platform. Suitable AI helps do this much faster. To be brief, employees can import specific candidate profiles or their entire set of connections onto the platform through their channels. 

When that’s done, consider it a royal spread, and—funnily enough—qualified professionals are the centerpiece.

Your terms, not the other way around

When creating thoughtful referral programs for employees, don’t lose sight of this: At the end of the day, your organization should be the one that gains the most.

The only way you do that is by keeping things in check. So, while rewards are crucial, there’s no need to go overboard and throw the company’s finances into disarray. Additionally, it’d be best to recognize that not all candidates are of the same caliber. Some will be objectively better than others. 

Yes, keeping track of all of this can get a little overwhelming. However, Suitable AI can help make this much more straightforward. And, when it hands you a beautifully designed referral program—with all the automated bells and whistles—Suitable AI will let you take the credit for it. Why wouldn’t it? You worked hard to get all of it done.  

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