Employee Referrals are increasingly being looked at as the most preferred source for hiring by organizations which have recognized their potential for yielding the best quality talent. The question that everyone seems to be asking, however, is “what can we do to maximize hiring through referrals?”

If you are looking for solutions to make your employee referral program succeed, read on!

A high impact employee referral program must incorporate three fundamental tenets:

Look at employees as brand ambassadors: First up, look within! Is your workforce happy and satisfied? No endorsement can be stronger or more effective than that of a happy employee. Organizations must recognize the massive potential of employees as brand ambassadors and leverage their people to build a strong brand.

Referrals must be treated as an integral part of the company culture. Rewards for teams with the maximum number of referrals, recognition and appreciation of employees who post positions on their social networks and make efforts to refer friends to the company are all steps to promote a culture that treats referrals as the preferred way of sourcing candidates and strives to make it a habit with all employees.

Any positive news or information that can be shared on social media could be brought to the attention of all employees who can then go on to share it with people in their network. This plays on the employees’ sense of pride and helps her/him strengthen networks.

Give them a WOW experience: Create a positive feel, provide the right tools, engage, communicate & reward!

Merely shooting off a mail mentioning a vacant position is not very motivating for employees who are already hard pressed to meet work deadlines. Gamification of the entire process can bring in the element of fun and healthy competition among referring employees. Moreover, simplicity of the referral procedure is a key element. Requiring employees to fill in ten or more mandatory fields while submitting referrals is never a good idea.

Creating a referral campaign is akin to building a marketing campaign for a product. Once done, the campaign needs to be “in sight” always. Innovative methods like Leader Boards, postings on the intranet and posters near the coffee machine can be used to show momentum and create competition

Most of us are glued to our IOS or Android games knowing there are no monetary rewards to be gained from them. Rewards for successful referrals, monetary or otherwise, are always encouraging. The key is to identify the approach that works best for a certain organization given its culture and nature of business. A rewarding program would be one that is effective and could include gift vouchers, holidays, virtual coins or just plain recognition of teams and individuals at company forums!

Keep them informed! Research has shown that one of the main reasons for failure of referral programs is not keeping employees informed about the status of their referrals. Queries about the status of a referred candidate do not receive satisfactory responses and this puts the employee in the uncomfortable position of not knowing what feedback to give a friend. While it is humanly impossible to close the feedback loop with one and all, there are smart technology tools that can be used to automate the process of updating status and communication processes. Employees must never perceive that profiles referred by them just disappear into a black hole!