If I was to put 100 corporate HR Pros in a room and have them rate the #1 thing they need to fix in their HR shop – I would bet the majority of HR pros would have ‘Referral Program’ as the #1 program that is broken in their department. Traditional referral programs suck for a number of reasons:
- They’re old and dated 5 minutes after you launch them.
- You never get the amount of referrals you hope for.
- It takes way to long for people to get ‘rewarded’ for a referral they do refer.
- They are difficult to administer and have way too many rules.
- Your employees don’t think it’s about them.
What’s crazy – is that with the technology we have available to us – it doesn’t have to be this way. Besides video interviewing/screening – employee referral technology might be the hottest contested area in HR Tech in 2013. Every day it seems like a new company or existing company is adding ’employee referral’ tech to their offerings. Executives don’t even argue the fact any longer that referrals are your best hires. It’s one of those things that has been in the media so often we just believe it to be true – like drinking 8 glasses of water per day will make us healthy. While some organizations might have their best hires through referrals, there are a ton of variables that come into play, that make each company unique. If you’re best brightest refer someone you’re probably more likely to make a good hire, versus a lower performer.
So, how do you fix it?
Great referral programs have some things in common:
1. A timely feedback mechanism – Once I refer someone I want to know what’s going on with my referral – at every step of the way. Because they’re calling me at home and asking!
2. A Scoreboard – An element to gamification will put your referral program over the top and keep it fresh!
3. Timely Rewards – Paying someone 90 days after a hire of someone they referred 2 months before that – doesn’t work. You need to think of the process of referral and how you reward those activities differently. Making smaller rewards/recognitions sooner and more often throughout the process, leads to better results.
Want to have Kris Dunn and I tell you how to really make your Employee Referral program World Class?
Join us for the FOT Webinar – The SuperFriends: 7 Strategies to Get Your Superhero Employees to Refer Their Arch Nemesis! on March 27th at 1pm EST, sponsored by the super folks at Zao.com. We’ll give you the strategies, tips and tricks to launching a referral program that will actually produce more the longer you have it, not less!
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.