5 GR8 Tech Tips to Boost Your Employee Referral Program

For those actively hiring in-demand talent, employee referrals—long established among the top sources of quality hires—should be playing an even bigger role in your talent acquisition strategy today. Quit rates have fallen significantly based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, providing strong evidence that employed workers are extremely hesitant to make a job change.

Fortunately, employee referral programs are well suited to solve this challenge because, by leveraging the influence family members, friends and colleagues have on candidates, recruiters will increase their odds that those offered a role will accept.

Give Your ERP a Boost

Traditionally, the administrative aspects associated with employee referral programs were often to blame for lackluster results. However, with the right recruiting technology in place, talent acquisition teams are able to automate essential features and functions of the program, allowing the technology to do the heavy lifting and make sure that referrals serve as a continued source of exceptional talent during turbulent times.

Before exploring our five GR8 tech tips in detail, it’s important to recognize that you won’t be held back by the inability to offer cash rewards or other costly giveaways. Employees cite intrinsic motivations such as helping their friends and their organizations more often than they do cash bonuses and other rewards. So, while you can certainly automate rewards fulfillment if you do offer these kinds of incentives, remember that most employees don’t need them in order to refer great talent.

With that in mind, here are five ways your recruiting software can give your ERP the boost it needs to attract exceptional talent:

#1: Accommodate various referral types. Your system should be able to refine program settings to reflect the different types of referrals that are allowed, such as whether the referral must be tied to a specific job or may be referred in general. In addition, you can set parameters to ensure that once a candidate is submitted as a referral nobody else within the organization can submit that candidate again. Or, you may decide to allow multiple referrals for the same candidate as further evidence of candidate quality. Either way, the ability to accommodate various types of referrals gives recruiters flexibility to tailor the system in response to program needs and criteria.

#2. Make it easy for employees to promote opportunities. Doing so is absolutely critical to referral success. For starters, your applicant tracking system should support the automated generation of a unique referral URL that enables employees to immediately post jobs to their networks and get credit because the URL ties directly to the referral source. Also, the email templates that your team develops to communicate with employees about current openings that qualify for referrals should always include social buttons for easy sharing.

#3: Automate role matching. Look to technology to assist current employees in identifying referrals by enabling automation that compares a job opening against the experience of people in their networks. While optional for employees, those who choose to use this feature will appreciate the time automated role matching saves them in determining high-quality referrals they’re already connected to.

#4. Set custom duration periods for referral ownership. This feature gives the referring employee referral “rights” over the candidate for the duration of ownership, which matters if your program criteria dictates that only one person can be tied to a referral. The system will automatically block any duplicate referrals submitted within the predefined duration period, making it obvious to recruiters who should be credited as the referral source.

#5. Allow a grace period for referrals of existing candidates. Avoid the frustration that comes when employees realize after the fact that one of their close connections applied for a job by enabling a grace period for referrals. You can specify the total number of days during which the system will allow the referral activity to be added to the job seeker record and marked as a referral.

Finally, your technology should deliver consistent visibility into referred candidates and referrer details for everyone involved in the process and especially your hiring managers. For example, if a candidate record is returned in a search result, it should be immediately clear that that individual was referred to the organization so that recruiters can respond accordingly. After all, greater visibility into referred candidates and the employees who refer them translates into greater value realized through your organization’s ERP.

Want to learn about other winning ways talent acquisition teams are leveraging recruiting automation for big gains in efficiency and effectiveness? Download our E-Book, Assess, Adapt, Amaze.