Develop an Employee Referral Program that Really Works

Master Burnett wrote a recent article for the Human Capital Institute that identifies weaknesses in employee referral/incentive programs as a recruiting tool:

Lots of staffing managers think they have a great referral program, but what they really have is an overly generic, ad-hoc managed program that isn’t designed to produce results when needed.  Such managers are used to receiving referrals when employees feel like submitting them (most often when prompted to do so by the candidate), not necessarily when needed to build a candidate pipeline.

Burnett suggests the use of “referral sessions” where staffing managers can use the questions below to get more targeted referrals, and a better chance at finding top talent:

  • Who have you worked with in the past or met at industry events that work in this type of function at XYZ Corporation, ABD Limited, etc.? (Each of the companies listed would be known talent competitors pre-identified by the recruiter or staffing manager.)
  • At your previous companies, who was the best at “X?” Replace X with a key skill for the role being sourced for.

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