How To Revamp Your Employee Referral Program

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by Andy Wolfe

Andy Wolfe


Before getting into how referral hiring programs work, let's first talk about their goals:

  • To hire great people efficiently
  • To engage and retain your current and new employees

Now that we have goals established, we want to design the easiest way to achieve them. We've found the following three components to be the most important elements of a successful referral program:

  • Make it easy for employees
  • Use simple, altrustic incentives
  • Write great, short emails

This is the way great tech companies like Facebook and Google do it  they’ve cut out the unnecessary fluffy benefits, and identified the core need: an efficient way to recruit the best candidates.

Make It Easy For Employees

You spent lots of time hiring the great employees you already have so they could do specific roles, and in all likelihood, 'recruiting' was not on the job description to which they applied.

That doesn't mean they won't help, but it does mean that you'll have to go out of your way to make your humble request as easy as possible for them to fulfill.

When your friends and colleagues ask you for a favor, what's important? That the request is clear, simple and fast. How can you simplify your process to be done in just 5-10 minutes per year

Use Simple, Altruistic Incentives

Simple, altruistic incentives are much more fulfilling. Why do people love working at your company? Embrace that, and you'll win. And the recommendations you get will be of a much higher quality than bulk referrals from people looking for a huge monetary reward. Things like pizza, beer, a company or department charity gift, or even a piece of candy prove to be better incentives for employees to get the chance to work with people they respect and like.

Write Great, Short Emails

Do you like long emails :)? I sure don't!

Keep your candidate communication short and sweet. And reference your great employee who gave you the candidate's name (duh)!



Since our system is so different from the rest, we've actually renamed it "smarter sourcing" instead of employee referrals. It's in line with the owness being on the recruiter, but just in a smarter, more efficient way.

Check out this free guide on how to setup a smarter sourcing ystem.

Download The Guide

Topics: Sourcing, Hiring, Referrals

Andy Wolfe

Written by Andy Wolfe

I'm co-founder and CEO of ROIKOI, a smarter sourcing platform where you get your own database of candidates pre-filtered for talent and fit.