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Getting the Most out of Your Employee Referral Programs in Healthcare

Posted by Michael Bachman on Jan 10, 2018 9:35:00 AM

Regardless of industry, employee referral programs are a classic tool for building a solid pipeline of quality candidates. The Director of Talent Acquisition and Compensation for Stanford Health Care is quoted saying that quality referrals are still the number one driver of traffic for many of their positions. Their employee referral program is used to monetarily incentivize their employees. Also, before opening new hospitals they constantly push referrals in order to obtain the best talent, but it’s not always that easy.

In healthcare, you’re not dealing with your normal technical crowd. Majority of healthcare professionals work around the clock and need a solution that’s easy and simple to use -- so before you start building out your next employee referral program keep these four things in the back of your mind to ensure success:

Build employee referrals in your onboarding process

The onboarding process for healthcare professionals is very detailed and being able to build a culture of employee referrals, and drive home the issue multiple times, is essential. Build this culture into your onboarding processes by starting with your hiring managers. Your greatest ally in the fight for employee referrals will be those who are on the front line for all new employee communications. Take this time to show them how your employee referral program works. You can even ask them if they know anyone that they would like to work with.


It all starts with a successful onboarding.

Training managers to be proactive instead of reactive


A reactive manager will only get the job done in crunch 

time and in doing so will miss out on a lot of opportunities. Managers who are on top of new and current employees are those that are going to make a difference when it comes to a success or failure. If you train managers to always seek referrals -- you’re training them to find candidates who are rated #1 over and over for quality of hire. Teach managers to be proactive and always asking employees if they know anyone who might be a good fit for open positions. This can be done through 1on1s, email communication, or whatever method works best for your employees.

Keep it simple

Keeping your employee referral program simple for busy healthcare professionals is essential for adoption. As much as they would like an extra ICU Nurse they also don’t have time to sit and figure out a complicated program. Something as easy as signing up, sharing a link, and filling out a simple questionnaire on the referrals' qualifications will help keep referrals flowing. There’s no need to overcomplicate the employee referral program and using some type of plug and play system, especially in healthcare, will ensure success.

Always be communicating

Specialized positions can be much more complicated to fill and are the bread and butter of all referral programs.

Having a well-planned program that has strong communication as a backbone will make or break your program. The issue with many healthcare organizations is that employee referral programs hinge on the fact that many medical practitioners check their email -- which is not the case for many of them. Mobile platforms and text-message reminders can reach clinical employees who are more likely to have the connections you’re looking for. Be clear and concise in position requirements and instill that culture during onboarding.

Understanding employee referral programs within the healthcare industry can be more challenging than other industries, but with these four tips you’re destined to have a successful program up and running in no time. Start for free with Preferhired and only pay for successful hires.

Check out our latest eBook, 5 Building Blocks to a Better Employee Referral Program, as it walks you through the five critical steps in building a program that has the potential to save you thousands. Don’t wait. Grab your free copy of our eBook here.

Topics: employee referral program, healthcare

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