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How should I manage an internal recruitment referral programme?

How should I manage an internal recruitment referral programme?

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Referrals are often the most cost efficient and successful way to find and retain talent. If you have an engaged and effective workforce, then there is a huge benefit in encouraging and rewarding them to recommend people they think will fit into your culture.

There are a few things you should do to help make your internal recruitment drive a success:

  • Name it – Make the referral scheme attractive to your employees and build a brand around it. Name the scheme and give it slogans, logos and all branding essentials to keep in the mind of your employees.
  • Build it – Make the programme as professional as other elements in your company. Invest in promotion, education and maintenance and include senior managers as participants, sponsors and promoters.
  • Promote it – Let your employees know about the successes of the scheme so they don't think it's just another company initiative that has no impact on them. If they see and hear the benefits, they will be more likely to get involved.

Engaging employees
Remember that managers cannot lead and engage with the scheme if they have not used it. The entire company should be engaged in recruitment to build a culture of referrals. A referral programme will not develop simply because it exists.

Staff will participate in the referral programme for many different reasons, but usually their reasons will be financial. Advertise what the person referring receives in monetary reward and the exact process that will lead to them receiving the money. Do they get paid as soon as their referral is employed, or do they have to wait until after the probation period?

Constantly update the recruitment referral programme and promote the different elements of the process and promote the positive effects of referrals. Let employees know about the roles currently available and the type of people you're looking for. Promote peaks in the need for referrals and promote roles seasonally.

Contacting candidates
After getting a copy of the candidate's CV from your referee, the candidate should be approached by a well briefed member of the recruitment team. Generally they will be aware of the company and waiting for your call, but you should sell the role and your company as you would to any other applicant.

Candidates that are referred should experience some customisation in their recruitment process to differentiate them from speculative candidates. You should remember that your conduct throughout the whole recruitment process is likely to be reported back to your referring employee so you should look to keep the highest level of professionalism at all times.

Review progress
Look to evaluate the efficiency of the referral scheme regularly. Give the candidates and the employees making referrals good feedback on why people get through and why they do not.

Make sure that your recruitment team invest proportionally in referrals if referrals produce 50% of your hires, then it deserves up to 50% of your sourcing time, effort and budget.

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