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PhD Expert Series: 17 Practitioners on Instilling a Culture of Referrals Within Your Company

Posted by Bridget Webb on Apr 4, 2018 1:00:00 PM
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The employee referral program is one of the hardest programs in HR to not only start but to keep employees engaged. We sourced our own networks and the networks of others in order to find the best advice from a practitioner who has either started or maintained a program all the way up from the 10,000 person company to a 100 and below company. The advice these practitioners are giving transcends industry and in most cases --- company size. 

So sit back and join us for what we're calling the PhD Expert Series on employee referrals. 

17 Practitioners Give Advice on Starting an Employee Referral Program

The most unique thing about this group of individudals is they've either started an employee referral program from scratch or they have helped maintained and saw the growth of it. The PhD (short for Preferhired) Expert Series will be a four part series asking practitioners from companies, like Dell, HomeAway, Microsoft, and Zenoss, for their advice on a sucessful employee referral program.

Instilling a culture of referrals within your organization can be one of the biggest challenges. Having constant communication and open dialogue with your stakeholders is essential for starting a program and keeping it going for years. Our experts talk about how they've instilled a culture of referrals with their employees. 

PhD Expert Series"How have you instilled a culture of referrals with your employees?"


Jennifer Newbill
Director, Global Employment Brand
LinkedIn Profile

"We talk about the importance of our employees and the role they play in our company and culture all the time – this includes everything from customer success to company and employee advocacy to individual programs like our referral program. In order for employees to see how referrals are important, fit it into the bigger picture for them. Tell them THEY are important and why their voice in the marketplace and referrals are critical to the company success." - Jennifer N.

Liz Bronson
Owner/Lead Recruiter
Liz Bronson Consulting
LinkedIn Profile

"Rewarding, celebrating, reminding." - Liz B.
Al Pollard
Manager, Human Resources 
LinkedIn Profile
"Keep it top of mind with everyone. Always ask employees "do you know anyone who might be a match for the opening in your department" or something similar. Leadership also needs to promote the program." - Al P.
Robin Schooling
Vice President, Human Resources
Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge
LinkedIn Profile
"We consistenlty talk about employees referring people with whom they enjoy spending time with either because of their personality, their passion for the job or the great work habits. "Who do you want working next to you on a shift?" is the question to ask." - Robin S.
Carmen Hudson
Principal Consultant
Recruiting Toolbox
LinkedIn Profile
"It's all about communication with employees and making them feel like they are helping build the future of the company." - Carmen H.
Amy Miller
LinkedIn Profile
"We continually drive the message that "everyone is a recruiter". We all have a stake in building our teams." - Amy M.
Aaron Kraljev
Manager, Employer Brand 
Wells Fargo
LinkedIn Profile
"Active and passive awards." - Aaron K.
Tiffany Lee
Manager, Global Employee Brand
LinkedIn Profile 
"We are in progress, but the premise is if we hire amazing people, and they do amazing work, then we will be an amazing company, which makes you look smart b/c you work here. It's a win for everyone." - Tiffany L.
Pam Rosenburg
Talent Acquisition Recruiter
LinkedIn Profile
"Ask everyone to share their updates on their social media handles." - Pam R.

Alex Brown
Recruiting Manager, Candidate Experience and Social Media
Fiserv, Inc.
LinkedIn Profile

"Implementing SLAs that guarantee that not only will referrals be reviewed, but that they get priority; this instills trust that the referring employee can take pride in the experience that their friend or family member takes away after their application and interview process." - Alex B.

Jessica Steinberg
Director, Employer Brand
CDK Global
LinkedIn Profile 

"Wherever we're hiring, we'll host lunch and learns offering cupcakes with lists of open roles, and position the recruiter to be the main promoter of the program through great keep-in-touch marketing initiatives." - Jessica S.
Brie Bastidas
Senior Recruiter
Upstart Talent
LinkedIn Profile
"My last company had a very strong culture, referrals were about 68% of hires up until the point we got to 100 employees." - Brie B.
Bretney Skipp
HR Operations Specialist
LinkedIn Profile
"Reminders every so often, $$$, Referral blitz's with hard to fill roles." - Bretney S.
Jeff Waldman
LinkedIn Profile
"Allowing employees to clearly understand that they have a role to play in shaping the future organization, and showing a true commitment to investing $$s in the ERP." - Jeff W.
Amy Esry
Human Resources Consultant
Hausmann-Johnson Insurance
LinkedIn Profile
"We get referrals even when we don't have openings. Our employees like their jobs and naturally share that enthusiasm with their friends, so the referral is a natural result of casual conversations." - Amy E.

Andrea Devers 
Human Resources
LinkedIn Profile

"I'm still working on this -- but it goes back to promoting it often and providing metrics to leadership" - Andrea D.

Jessica Boyd
Talent Brand & Social Media Manager
LinkedIn Profile

"We're getting there.. but we continually drive awareness through contests and content on our internal sites." - Jessica B.

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

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