How strong is your referral program?  On average, 24 percent of employee hires originate from a referral (; and referred candidates are a better company culture fit and they stay with your organization longer.  Within a hot job market where candidates have more companies to choose from, now is a great time to ramp up your referral program. Here are a few ways to begin today:

  1. Create a 3-Step Referral Checklist and introduce the program to your employee base. If you already have a referral program, take this opportunity to simplify and reintroduce your program to new employees.  On a quarterly basis, remind employees of the referral program and the 3 simple steps:
    • Who do you know?  Why do you like working here?  Share about company culture, growth potential with the people that you plan to refer.  This preps them for their call with a recruiter and gets them interested in the role.
    • All you need to do is enter in your referral information online or email your recruiter to submit your referral.
    • If your referral gets hired, we’ll pay you $500 – you get some cash and the opportunity to work with your referral.  We get to hire someone who you recommended.  Win. Win.


  1. Share networking best practices for all employees to create a sense of ownership. Teach your employees how to leverage their LinkedIn profile, their network of co-workers, and past workplaces.  Or you can host a company happy hour that allows everyone to bring one referral.  This can be a small investment with huge rewards.


  1. Put one person in charge of referrals so they don’t fall through the cracks.  If you have 100 recruiters collecting referrals, while also managing all the other candidates that apply, there is a high likelihood that a few will be overlooked.  If you take your referral program seriously, assign one or two (max) people to be accountable for the referrals that come through the pipeline to ensure each one is thoroughly reviewed and if qualified, interviewed.


  1. Say, “Thank you!”  Recognize your highest referring employees publicly.  Give them a shout out to the annual meeting or quarterly newsletter to encourage more referrals and spur a fun internal competition.

Improving your referral program can provide a nice boost in the quality and quantity of your referred candidates.  Take some time to update your policy and create some excitement around this important initiative.