Guidelines to Employee referral program: What, Why & How?


The kick off question: What is an employee referral program?

A system which is catching the trend with time & there are many of you, who have perhaps heard of this term but are unware of its merits. This article is going to give you a basic idea on what is this program all about, so read along.

Every company has their own internal recruitment team & talent acquisition managers to serve to their traditional hiring needs. Employee referral program can make their sourcing job simpler & more effective & if implemented in its right form can drive a company’s existing recruitment system to new heights, by passing on the recruiter’s hat to their current employees. Wondering how does that work eh?

An employee referral program is a robust internal recruitment system which helps companies to source & hire quality profiles by using the social networks for their employees. Also this program is an excellent tool to promote a company’s employer brand & helps attract the best talents in the market.

Here is a quick video to show you how the IBM referral program works:

It’s not a piece of cake to achieve a fully-fledged employee referral system in the blink of an eye. It requires establishment of a good rapport with your employees & putting in place a potent training program to educate the entire company on how to make the most out of this powerhouse program.

3 essential benefits that companies can reap of this system are:

-          Firstly it boosts the company’s current recruitment system & makes it more pro-active.

-          Secondly it helps to reach out to the potential talents in the market quicker than classic recruitment procedures & is cost friendly.

-          Third, statistics show that employees who have been recruited via employee referral program tend to stick around with the company longer. A study by JobVite” states that 46 % of referred hires remained with the company at least one year after they were hired, which is much more than the 33 % of employees recruited through traditional career sites and 22 % recruited via job boards.

Let’s take a deeper look into how benefits from this program can be successfully achieved.

-The first thing that companies need to define is what objectives they are planning to achieve through the employee referral program. Is it to save the time & cost involved in the regular recruitment process? Is it to enhance the number of diversity hires? Etc.

-Secondly, companies have to design an employee referral program which is simple to use & without any tedious efforts required. For example, if an employee refers a potential candidate out of their network to the HR department, who corresponds to a particular vacancy to be filled, the process that the employee engages in should be easy. For example simply conveying the name of the candidate or sending a message with the job spec. enclosed to the potential candidate.

-Third, companies need to train their staff in how to effectively use this system. It’s important to communicate to them exactly what they are hoping to achieve through this program & how significant the employee contribution would be. A company can offer an online training module to cater to this need.

-Fourth, companies need to successfully share with their employees what kind of profiles they are looking for & be transparent with them regarding that particular position’s hiring process. Companies can use their creative heads to make this step fun & interactive through brainstorming workshops.

-Fifthly, It’s important to convey to the employees what reward they will get in return if their referred person is hired. Different kinds of rewards can be, for example, referral bonus, paid family holidays, personalized thank you messages etc.

-Last but not the least & to conclude the article, it’s of great importance that the results of the employee referral program be measured to extract valuable information regarding the candidate response rate obtained through the referral program, participation rate of the employees, rate of quality hires etc. in order to get a strategic view on how this program can be further improved to make it an expert recruitment tool within the structure.


Koyal débute sa carrière en Inde au sein d’ONG comme psychologue pour accompagner des enfants en milieu défavorisé.

Elle interviendra également au sein de grandes entreprises internationales auprès des équipes locales (KPMG et CapGemini) pour piloter des projets de développement de psychologie positive (conflit management, stress, role ambiguity, …).

Elle poursuit sa carrière en France où elle affine ses compétences sur les enjeux du management interculturel, notamment en occupant des positions de formatrice et de business developer. Elle complète sa formation par un MSc en commerce international de l’IESEG (Lille), où elle renforce sa sensibilité à l’Entreprise et au business international.

Elle a depuis lors rejoint ALMAS Associates en qualité de Psychologue, consultante junior et chargée de recrutement international.

Elle contribue au développement du département Assessment Programs Almas en déclinant notamment les programmes en anglais et en les renforçant pour traiter des enjeux multiculturels, multisociaux et multigénérationnels.
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