Employee Referrals

First of all, if you already have an employee referral program but it isn’t working as expected or you want to super boost your referral rates, you have come to the right place. In case you don’t have a referral program and unsure about it, drop everything and read about why you need to have one. While you are at it, here are some employee referral program ideas that worked like a charm. 


camouflaged himalayan snow leopard

Referrals are tough


It’s probably easier to spot a Himalayan snow leopard than a great employee referral program (well, you can obviously use Recruiterflow to manage this). Most recruiting teams think that once you have a reward policy in place, the referrals will start pouring in and their jobs will get easier. Well, no, it doesn’t work that way. You need to understand the motives behind the program and act accordingly. Most research suggests that monetary rewards have a very small impact on referrals. Here’s what you should rather be thinking about.


You need to identify motivations behind referrals. A great workplace environment and employee engagement will lead to more referrals. Most employees refer their friends because of two major reasons.

  1. They want to help out a friend and work with them
  2. They want to help out the company

Understanding that these motivations are there will help you create a better strategy. Think more about recognition and encouragement rather than monetary rewards for your employees. The second most important reason why employees refer a candidate is to help the company and you need to recognize them for it to kick in the positive feedback loop.


Here are a few companies that had the most genius ideas of employee referral programs.


1) InMobi

inmobi employee referral program

The mobile advertising giant was looking for engineering managers to join. While the traditional methods of recruitment couldn’t keep the pace with its breakneck speed of growth, they had to think outside the box. Here’s what they did.

For anyone who referred a candidate for engineering manager and the candidate got hired, they gave the referrers a Royal Enfield bike (a cult in India, kind of like Harley Davidson of India) in India and a Vespa in US offices. The referrers could either choose the bike or take a trip to Bali and watch the sunrise from a Volcano! The bike and Vespa were parked right at the gates of the office so that everyone in the company would remember! InMobi took their referral rate from 20% to 50% for a 900 people team. Numbers to envy for! 


2) Salesforce beer parties

salesforce referral beer parties

Salesforce hosts Recruitment Happy Hours where the team members can invite the friends they want to refer. Just incredible! They took the entire friction out of the entire process and made it fun for everyone. What’s better than having a drink with your buddy at your office! They backed it up with a very prompt processing of referred candidates and during the party, the recruiters got an informal way to build relationships. Even if the candidate isn’t interested immediately, they could always be brought in in the future since the relationship has already been built! 


3) Accenture

accenture charity contribution referral program

Dutch consulting and IT giant Accenture has always been an innovator for its HR practices and they didn’t fail to impress with their employee referral program. As we described earlier, they identified that people refer their friends because they want to help out either the friend or the company and feel good. How do you supercharge that emotional response that comes from doing good and helping someone out? They allowed employees to donate a part of their referral bonus to a charity of their choice and Accenture would match that amount. Now the intrinsic emotional reward for the employee was super charged and it reflected in their numbers.


4) Google

aided recall for referrals at google

Trust Google to do things a tad bit differently. In his must-read book “Work Rules” Laszlo Bock, has a great explanation on how Google encourages its employees to refer other great people. Recruiters sit down with employees and ask them “Who’s the best product person you know in NYC?”. Compared to plain vanilla asking for referrals, such pointed questions go a long way and force employees to think harder. The recruiters sit down with employees and scour their social profiles and ask them to remember the most relevant people. This method is called aided recall.



Getting great developers is getting tougher every passing day! However, developers are a well-connected bunch and need a little nudge to get them to refer their friends. GoDaddy put a poster. Every company does! Well, go daddy put that poster with code that read “If you know of a coder in your network who kicks ass, refer to GoDaddy Recruiting.” when decoded. As a compulsive puzzle solver, I can totally relate to this!


6) recruitment team was having a hard time getting someone who spoke both Portuguese and English for their customer support role in Brazil! The genius recruiting team there got everyone in their team Portuguese for lunch with a little note to refer someone they know for the role! The referrals poured in and they were able to close the position quickly!


Use Recruiterflow to make hiring a team sport.
Manage your employee referrals from one single dashboard.
Get Started for Free.

Learn More about Recruiterflow

Share this article
May 10, 2017
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest

Employee Referral Program enables employers to utilize their existing employee’s network to identify potential candidates for various open positions. Effectively, an employee referral program is your strategic plan to tap into your team’s network to find the next rockstar hire!

Consider this. On an average, the first connections of your teammates on Linkedin outnumber your company followers by 10 times!  And that’s just first degree connections on just Linkedin.


employee referral program


An employee referral program is your strategic plan to tap into your team’s network to find the next big thing for your organization. Benefits of an employee referral program are not limited to just your recruiting organization but also has a deep impact on performance and team engagement. 

If you are still skeptical about it, here are a few data points for you to consider about employee referral program.

Decrease time to hire by 40%

Hiring a referred candidate is always faster than posting the job post on job boards, receiving candidates, screening them and taking them through your entire process. As per a study, on an average, it takes 29 days to hire a referred candidate, 39 days for a candidate who comes through job boards and 55 days to hire a candidate who comes through the career site.


You hire better with referrals

The biggest motivator for your team members to refer employees is not the recognition or reward but the joy of helping out a friend. Of course, rewards and recognition make sure that they go that extra mile and refer great candidates. There is also a strong correlation between the performance of your top members and their referred candidates. A high performer will attract other high performers to the team and this will reflect on the referrals they make. In case of a referral, your team adds a level of pre-screening for you and that becomes a huge indicator for future success. According to a study by achievers,  the chances of a referred candidate getting fired decrease by an average of 350%!


Drastically decrease your cost of hiring

With a referred candidate, you not only save a ton on the cost of advertising the opening or expensive agency fees, you save a lot more on time! According to a study, referred candidates cost 40% lower compared to job boards! What’s better is that you not only save money, you save a lot of time as well.  A referred candidate comes with a context and knows a few things already so you can skip a lot of introductory hoops and get started quickly!


Increase your employee retention

Referred candidates are highly interested in joining your company that’s one of the primary reason they ask people in their network to refer them. As per a study, 46 percent of referred hires retained for at least one year after they were hired. In comparison, the same number stands at 33% for careers site and 22% for hires made via job boards.



Get candidates with better culture fit

Referred candidates already have knowledge about your company, culture through your employee who referred them. As per a survey around 70 percent, employers felt referred hires fit the company and values better than traditional hires.


Impact on employee engagement

Employee referral also results in higher retention for your current staff. One of the leading indicators for employee engagement is the referral rate and a better referral rate and transparent process can encourage employees to feel involved. According to Linkedin, helping the company out is the second highest contributing factor on why people refer others to their companies.


Employee referrals are crucial to your recruitment process and employees play a critical role in getting quality hires in place. However while asking your employees to refer someone you should clearly make them understand the role, responsibilities, perks and qualifications. 


With Recruiterflow, referrals are at the center of your recruitment process. Employees can submit a profile, share vacancy on social media with attribution tracking links, they can email their network and with all of that, we provide a seamless tracking for employees to track the status of their referred candidates. Often it is not enough to get a referral but also understand why the referral is coming in and how well does your teammate know the referred candidate. Recruiterflow takes care of all of this for you so you can relax and run a super engaging referral program.  If you are looking for inspiration, here are a few examples of super successful employee referral programs run by the very best organizations. 

Get set and get ready to supercharge your recruitment with referrals!

Use Recruiterflow to make hiring a team sport. Manage your employee referrals from one single dashboard.
Get Started for Free.

Learn More about Recruiterflow

Share this article
April 27, 2017
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest