So you just started dating someone new. How long until you introduce them to your friends or your family. Do you do it right away or do you wait just because you are not sure? It could be a number of scenarios, you love your friends and family but you are not sure about how they will be received. Or you are not sure whether your new date would be welcome into the inner circle. A referral program is similar to dating someone new. We all know that a solid referral program pays in both retention and recruiting costs. Some of the best companies programs are responsible for almost 75% of new hires. If you are not hitting this number than you need to take a hard look in the mirror. And I don’t mean the snow white mirror that tells you everything you want to hear.
You need to look at the one that gives you a true reflection. Take a long hard look within your culture. If your employees are happy and love what they do then they will want all their friends to join in on the fun. Are you creating “Brand Ambassadors” that promote you as a way of life? Or is it just the plan itself. The less complicated the plan is the more people will use it. If I have to jump through hoops, I may not want to be bothered. Then if I do decide to do a little jumping through hoops, I end up spending more time doing that than my doing my actual job. I guarantee that if you looked at every company that is at the top of every “best place to work” list, you will find a solid and effective referral program. A quality program will have a few simple things:
- Money – Make it financially rewarding. The payout should be enough so I feel like I got something other than gas money
- Accountable – Avoid having someone just dump resumes on your desk in hopes of getting paid. Make sure they know the person and include them in the process to make it more personable.
- Make all referrals a priority – Quick follow up and don’t just send them to the website to apply. Again make it personable, this is their friend, have the “a friend of yours is a friend of mine” mentality.
- Pay out in a timely manner - If you hired an employee’s friend, hold yourself accountable and don’t put guarantee restrictions. If someone is taking advantage and trying to play the system, they shouldn’t be working for you anyways.
As in dating when you find that right person they eventually become family and join your list of friends. With your company the success of your referral program will come when…. friends are also colleagues…and…. work/life balance is just LIFE.