Employee Referral Programs: The Best Recruiting Strategy You May be Missing (Part One)

By: Mike Kuenzi


According to a recent study by WorldatWork, 96% of all companies either have an employee referral program or want one.  That means most companies realize a strong referral program is a resource they can’t live without.

Think of the top performers at your company.  I’m sure a few names instantly come to mind.  Now imagine replicating that person, or even 75% of their abilities.  You have an untapped resource that could be the missing link to your talent needs.

Putting together a strong employee referral program can be a critical asset to your recruiting strategy.

Here are 4 strong benefits of implementing a well-designed referral program.

Interviewing Accuracy – People that truly understand a job and its functions are the best employees to recruit new people to that role. No matter how many people outside of the role try to illustrate what the position entails to potential candidates, they will never be as accurate as those actually working in the trenches.  If a candidate truly understands the role before acceptance, they have a much better chance of being happy and successful in the long-term.

Cost – In this tight talent market, it’s a real challenge finding a candidate who is qualified and interested in having a conversation.  With a strong employee referral program, you can dramatically reduce the time hunting for mediocre candidates in the marketplace and spend more time having meaningful conversations with strong candidates—we call this “Less Is More”!  Spending more time with fewer qualified candidates leads to less time to fill and lower cost per hire.

Culture and Branding – Consider an employee referral program free advertising for your brand.  Having your engaged, top-performing employees spreading your name in the marketplace to potential new hires can only be a good thing for your reputation, candidate pipeline, and culture. In addition, having star employees as your brand ambassadors can really boost your online reputation. In this day and age, candidate reviews have quickly become equally important to a company’s reputation as the client/consumer online reviews.

Results – Success breeds success.  Your top talent is more likely to take their candidate referral under their wing and show them what it will take to succeed.  Not only will you get better results from that new hire, but you now have two people vested in being top performers to prove your organization made the right hiring decision.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this Blog Series:  How to Maximize Your Referral Program.

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