Tactical steps to transform your Employee Referral Program

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Tactical steps to transform your Employee Referral Program

  1. 1. RAISING YOUR EMPLOYEE REFERRAL PROGRAM RESULTS TO 50% OF ALL HIRES “50% is the new ERP target” © Dr John Sullivan 1 www.drjohnsullivan.com
  2. 2. 2 Tactical Action Steps that can dramatically improve results of an ERP
  3. 3. 3 Action steps Tips for improving referral volume
  4. 4. 4 Best practices for increasing referral volume Hold referral events – hold physical referral events and “virtual meetups” in order to garner attention, to educate, and to get "spot" referrals (Monster.com) Alerts – send targeted alerts to the most relevant employees with a successful referral track record in order to make them aware of your current need. (CACI International and Quicken Loans) Competition – friendly internal contests between teams can dramatically improve results (Deloitte)
  5. 5. 5 Best practices for increasing referral volume Harness social networks – closely integrate referrals with your firm’s social media effort Recognize managers – set targets, make it a promotion criteria and then… track, report, recognize and reward individual managers for high referral rates within their team
  6. 6. 6 Increase volume by requiring less upfront Accept profiles – at least initially, allow LinkedIn profiles in lieu of resumes Accept just names – instead of requiring the full resume, accept names only (Children’s hospital in Dallas pay $100… just for name in key jobs… even if they are not hired… and 25% of the names result in a hire)
  7. 7. 7 Action steps Educate your employees
  8. 8. 8 Education and help Provide them with hands on help  Provide virtual “referral coaches”  Offer sample social media profiles and provide templates that can guide employees on how to develop contacts and relationships online  Offer to critique their profile or their blog  Provide them with stories – develop "story inventories" that employees can access and then use to "sell" the firm to potential referees
  9. 9. 9 Google has a story inventory A story Inventory for recruiters and employees
  10. 10. 10 Action steps Set referral expectations in order to minimize “junk referrals”
  11. 11. 11 Setting clear expectations can limit junk referrals Expectations before an employee refers (guidelines) 1.We are exclusively seeking superior individuals that will make our firm significantly better 2.Because we only want the very best… we expect no more than 3 referrals per employee a month 3.Throughout the referral process… we expect you to put the firm’s best interests first 4.Except in extraordinary cases, we do not want referrals from relatives or individuals that approached you and asked to be referred
  12. 12. 12 We need the following information Provide the following 6 pieces of information 1. The job title or req # you are referring them for 2. How you know or have assessed their work 3. Assess and then tell us about their skills and knowledge… and how they are superior 4. Assess and then tell us about their cultural fit… so we do not dilute our culture 5. Assure us that you have sold them to the point where they will accept an interview, if asked 6. Honestly rate them with a A+, A, or B+
  13. 13. 13 Action steps Referral cards can have a high impact
  14. 14. 14 Referral cards can be powerful Your customer service just now was exceptional. I work for the Apple store and you’re exactly the kind of person we’d like to talk to. If you’re happy where you are, I’d never ask you to leave. But if you’re thinking about a change, give me a call. This could be the start of something great.
  15. 15. 15 Electronic versions of referral cards Electronic referral cards An alternative is to provide employees with electronic referral cards to send to their social media contacts (the cards can have a tracking code to ensure that the employee gets credit for the referral)
  16. 16. 16 Action steps Utilize high-impact but low-cost rewards
  17. 17. 17 Rewards Action steps for improving rewards  Realize that the average bonus amount generally falls between $500 and $1,500…amounts above $1,500 have proven to have little impact  The best ERP’s never pay "equal" bonuses and most vary it by job, location and competitor $  "Grossing up" bonuses (so that they are in effect tax-free) really WOW’s employees  Pay off quickly and consider a “prize patrol” approach to add excitement (Quicken)
  18. 18. 18 Rewards Inexpensive rewards to consider  A referral dinner/luncheon held once/ twice a year with the CEO to celebrate referrers  A $25 gift / Starbucks card for your 1st referral  A handful of free movie tickets for the family  First choice at vacation, schedule or other desirable work items
  19. 19. 19 An example… rewarding frequent referrers Expedia’s frequent hire club $1000 plus a travel coupon for each additional hire
  20. 20. 20 Action steps Technology features to consider
  21. 21. 21 Referral technology features Impactful technology features 1. Referrals are tagged and prioritized in the ATS 2. The referring employee gets an e-mail “thank you” within 24 hours 3. The referred candidate gets a “thank you” phone call within 24 hours 4. The employee is notified via e-mail when a referral is scheduled for an interview 5. Interviews can be scheduled by the candidate on a web site (Alaska Airlines) 6. Relevant job openings are “pushed” to the right employees (With their permission)
  22. 22. 22 Technology features Technology features (continued) 6. Employee referrals can be made directly from their mobile phone 7. Referring employees have a referral scorecard 8. Employees and candidates can track progress during the process (Accenture & Aricent) 9. A+ and A “rejects are told what they must do to improve their chances 10.An e-newsletter is sent quarterly to A+ and A rated referrals that were not hired… in order to build a relationship
  23. 23. 23 Action steps Administrative actions for improving program results
  24. 24. 24 Administrative actions to consider  Improve responsiveness – responsive is the #1 critical success factor so… prioritize the handling of referrals and develop service level timelines  Dedicated recruiters – a dedicated ERP recruiter can improve candidate relationship management (CRM) and much more effectively sort and expedite top referrals (CACI)  Expedited interviewing – make a commitment to interview all A+ and A quality referral candidates for key jobs within a certain number of days (Owens Corning)
  25. 25. 25 Administrative actions to consider  Measure quality of hire – measure the on-the-job performance and the retention rates of new hires from referrals… and then use the information to improve the ERP  Conduct a follow up interview – after a successful referral, send a recruiter to interview the employee in order to identify best practices and to ask for additional referrals (Amazon)  Develop a referral program SLA – increase the responsiveness of both line managers and HR by instituting service-level agreements that spell out expectations. (Aricent)
  26. 26. 26 Action steps Avoid these 4 high impact ERP program killers
  27. 27. 27 The 4 most impactful program killers  Do not allow executives to win the argument that… you don’t need a formal ERP program and marketing effort… because “it’s part of their job”  Do not withhold rewards during the new hires probationary period  Avoid “referral spam” where a high volume of messaging causes your targeted employees to eventually ignore all referral messages  Avoid sending employee referrals to apply on the standard corporate careers website

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