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PhD Expert Series: 17 Practitioners Define Success for their Employee Referral Program

Posted by Bridget Webb on Mar 14, 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 Define Success for their Employee Referral Program

This week is the final week of our PhD Expert Series. You've heard these practitioners talk about instilling a culture of referrals, how to get creative, and their words of wisdom when starting an employee referral program. Now you get to hear their success. Listen to their advice, head their words, pave your path, and start creating small wins that will eventually turn into a bigger and better program. 

PhD Expert Series"What has been your success with your program?"


Jennifer Newbill
Director, Global Employment Brand
LinkedIn Profile

"We have invested time and energy in multiple efforts at once including our referrals, content, employee advocacy but have seen as a result of all of these an improvement in sentiment as well as 20% reduction in cost per hire. Yes, there is an investment in terms of time and money but in the long run it saves the company time. We have also conducted business process improvement reviews where we have demonstrated in our sales hiring that referrals after one quarter make on average over 3% more in revenue – so not only do referrals onboard quicker and attrit at a slower/lower rate but those in sales make more money for the company. Also, don’t forget about the power of a well ran program and how that can motivate your own team members!" - Jennifer N.

Liz Bronson
Owner/Lead Recruiter
Liz Bronson Consulting
LinkedIn Profile

"The best, most loyal, most true to culture people come from ERP." - Liz B.
Al Pollard
Manager, Human Resources 
LinkedIn Profile
"It is generally recognized at the cheapest and most effective way to recruit people. If a manager/leader does not want to pay a substantial amount I ask them something like "why are we willing to pay an agency 20% or better of a person's salary and not willing to pay our own employees even half that amount? And agencies don't have as much incentive to get us good people, they don't have to work with them :) Referrals have consistently been about 50% of our hires." - Al P.
Robin Schooling
Vice President, Human Resources
Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge
LinkedIn Profile
"We don't even have a specific program and haven't run an ERP with monetary rewards for a number of years yet EE referrals account for close to 40% of our new hires! I think our cultural messaging works!" - Robin S.
Carmen Hudson
Principal Consultant
Recruiting Toolbox
LinkedIn Profile
"I've always found that ERPs are a predictable, measurable way to increase hiring results." - Carmen H.
Amy Miller
LinkedIn Profile
"A well done ERP can foster a sense of teamwork / joint accountability between recruiting and the businesses we partner with. It can help drive a better sense of partnership vs just the hiring team(s) waiting for recruiting to "fill an order"." - Amy M.
Aaron Kraljev
Manager, Employer Brand 
Wells Fargo
LinkedIn Profile
"Easily #1 source of hire." - Aaron K.
Tiffany Lee
Manager, Global Employee Brand
LinkedIn Profile 
"People want to refer and we want great talent, so we will always support and reward referrals. Also, we don't make employees wait for a bonus payout. They get it on the first paycheck after the referral's start date b/c their part (a succesful referral) is over. Now it's was this person a successful hire, which falls on the hiring team." - Tiffany L.
Pam Rosenburg
Talent Acquisition Recruiter
LinkedIn Profile
"The testimonials we've created are invaluable." - Pam R.

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

"Candidates reaching out to us (despite not receiving an offer) thanking us for taking the time to handle the referral with a white glove approach; create brand advocates along the while, while leveraging existing networks of your current employees." - Alex B.

Jessica Steinberg
Director, Employer Brand
CDK Global
LinkedIn Profile 

"CDK Global had 34% of all external hires referred last fiscal. We've found that referred hires tend to do better with a stronger retention rate." - 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
"Employees are better engaged when they work with folks they like." - Bretney S.
Jeff Waldman
LinkedIn Profile
"Reduction in cost per hire, time to fill (notably hard to recruit jobs), quality of hire (long term measures of turnover and rmployee performance) and employee engagement." - Jeff W.
Amy Esry
Human Resources Consultant
Hausmann-Johnson Insurance
LinkedIn Profile
"Referrals are a great way to get quality candidates. You wont get a ton of candidates, but what you get will be more qualified than the dozens who respond to an ad. In a tight labor market, getting referrals from employees is a key part of your recruiting program." - 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

"Referrals tend to significantly cut down the time to hire and quality of hire -- win win for everyone with the employee getting a bonus" - 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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