Picture this: A system that automates everything from job opening notifications to employee updates and pay-outs as well as back-end tracking. The gamification buzzword applies, too–with employees in friendly competition with each other for points.
One trend in referral programs that loses traction because of management difficulties is the non-cash incentive. These rewards–think gift cards, extra vacation days, items with the company logo, or entries into a prize drawing–“can be an administrative burden,” says Kara Yarnot, founder and president of Virginia-based Meritage Talent Solutions, whose 2014 employee referral trends report is based on a survey of more than 100 recruiting organizations. There are inventory item tracking, shipping, prize drawing organization, and other resource-eating tasks to digest.
Understanding why employees refer their contacts for job openings is a start to getting more referrals-based hires. According to a LinkedIn survey, 35 percent said they refer mainly to help their friends and 32 percent said it’s to help their company. Just 6 percent said they’re in it for the money and recognition.
But next-generation referral programs can help satisfy all of these motivations. So perhaps it’s time to consider a power tool to expand the recruitment pool.
Employee Referral Features to Find
- Communication and tracking automation, with built-in controls
- Candidate contact suggestions
- Data analytics for program performance checks
- Application tracking system (ATS) integration
- Leaderboard interface to boost participation
- Rewards fulfillment
- Mobile app, or mobile device optimized site
- Site design customization
- Social media integration
- Ease in sending referrals
- Live status tracking and updates
Employee Referral Program Platform Standouts
Here are several options and what makes each stand out in a market of similar offerings.
- RolePoint Refer: Over time, this platform learns the best way to expand program reach. Incentives can be managed by job type, region or currency, with probation periods and notifications to payroll for payouts automated. Intelligence data helps administrators understand anticipated results and compare referral performance to other companies.
- ZALP: Interactive videos, images, blogs and more can help promote company culture to candidates. Employees can get auto-notifications about jobs and a referral’s status. Top performers get recognized on a leaderboard, with micro rewards praising people for sharing a job, sending a lead, or other activity.
- EmployeeReferrals.com: Referrals can be made from any device without employees having to log in, and they take just about three clicks and two minutes. The Social Referral Suite helps employees post jobs socially. Gift cards and other rewards result from diamond, platinum, gold, silver, bronze and copper levels, earned by actions taken. A company’s brand, colors, photos, and even URL can make be incorporated into the interface.
- LinkedIn Referrals: In initial launch phase after an acquisition of Careerify, this platform is currently available to select companies. It surfaces leads based on employee networks and finds matches to help pinpoint “hidden stars.” Employees get contact suggestions and are kept up-to-date on referral status.
- Jobvite Refer: Employees can automatically broadcast an open position on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Custom Facebook applications help in identifying candidates and enable employees to extend private invitations to apply. Metrics allow employers to spot top referrers and their most successful channels.
- Simppler: The system learns to help find referrals that are a close “DNA match.” When a hiring manager accepts or rejects a candidate, the action trains the system to fit the hiring needs. Companies can identify superstars so Simppler can find more people like them.
- ZAO: A leader in non-employee referrals, ZAO can manage payments to “friends of the firm.” When multiple people refer (e.g., an employee forwards a job to a contact and that person refers his contact), the rewards get split. A leaderboard gives credit for lead forwarding, applicant attainment, and job sharing activity, with high-quality referrals earning employees a special badge.
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