Referral recruitment is on the rise. And there is a good reason for this: referred employees often fit in better with the company culture, they are more involved, are less likely to leave and are more productive. In this article we discuss five great examples of referral programs.
The number of referrals at PURE – an American property insurance company – is high: between 40% and 60% of employees come from referral recruitment. Their secret? Don’t waste any time. Once a new employee has spent his or her first weeks with the organization, that person is asked if he or she knows anyone else who could be a good fit for the company. This strategy has two important advantages: 1) it immediately leads to more referrals and 2) it emphasizes the importance of referrals.
American cloud giant Salesforce is known for the rich rewards it offers its employees. On the referral front, Salesforce employees have received a whopping $5.5 million in total bonuses. But how does Salesforce go about its referral program? The organization hosts Recruitment Happy Hours, get-togethers where employees can invite the people they want to refer. A great, informal way for recruiters to get to know potential candidates. And fun for both employees and their referrals, as they can enjoy a few drinks together.
When InMobi – a global platform for mobile advertising and mobile discovery – was urgently looking for engineering managers, the team knew it had to come up with something extraordinary. And they did. They devised a country- and culture-specific incentive to reward employees. In India, that meant a Royal Enfield motorcycle (the Harley Davidson of India) and in the U.S. a Vespa. To keep employees at their referral best, both vehicles were parked at the entrance to the offices. For each successful referral, InMobi employees could choose between a brand new motorcycle and a trip to Bali. It turned out to be worth it: InMobi’s referral rate jumped from 20% to 50% for a company with 900 employees.
Freelancing marketplace Fiverr wanted to refer more workers by tracking social job sharing and adding gamification by offering points for sharing jobs and referring friends. So Fiverr decided to use Zao, an organization that offers an employee referral program (it has since been acquired by PIXID). The software added a competitive element to referring candidates, as it gave employees points and credit for all the actions they took and – let’s not forget this – it informed them of status changes of their referrers. Based on the points they had received on the Zao referral leaderboard, top Fiverr employees received gifts on a quarterly and annual basis.
Dutch consulting and IT giant Accenture is also impressing with their referral program. Their strategy is based on the fact that referrals make you feel good. They are helping their friend or the company. How can you reinforce that emotional response you get when you do good and help someone? They gave employees the option to donate a portion of their referral bonus to a charity of their choice and Accenture would double that amount. This increased the intrinsic emotional reward for the employee a bit more and that was reflected in their numbers.