It’s not all about the Benjamins in Referral Programs

The benefits to the company are clear. Referred candidates are more likely to be hired, more likely to engage at work and more likely to stay longer. Referred employees are a recruiting gold mine, but you still have to mine the gold. Referral programs are often tough to get going for a few reasons, first of which being, it’s not their job, it’s yours. This is a very common attitude among employees who are pushed to refer candidates. And to be perfectly honest, it’s true, it’s not their job.

Encouraging and facilitating an employee referral program can be tough, but it’s entirely possible, and entirely worth the effort. Getting employees onboard with the program is a lot easier when they see how it benefits them. That’s not to say that employees should only be expected to go the extra mile when it directly benefits them. But in the case of referrals, successful programs don’t just pop out of thin air. When you need your employees to help save time, money and sourcing resources, it might take a little incentive, and that’s only fair.

Financial incentives have long been a primary means of encouragement. When you encourage employees financially to refer qualified and relevant candidates who remain with the company for a specified amount of time, you will ensure a higher quality of candidates. You will also be showing your employees that their aid is valuable to the company, while encouraging future referrals. But this isn’t the only way to encourage employees to participate in your referral program.

Sometimes Financial Compensation Isn’t What They Want

Keeping a pulse on what is important to your employees can go a long way in your ability to offer them incentives that aren’t necessarily monetary. In fact, today’s workforce is putting increasing weight on non-financial compensation. Here are some popular incentives that won’t break the bank:

-Vacation Time

This new generation no longer lives to work, they work to live. Time is the hottest commodity right now, and offering vacation time often benefits the employees just as much as the employers. Employees who take vacation time come back more engaged and productive than their non-vacationing co-workers. According to Glen Stansberry of Smart Bread, “Studies show that men who don’t take regular vacations are 32 percent more likely to have heart attacks than those who do, and women are 50 percent more likely to have heart attacks if they don’t take vacations.” It sounds like vacation time might also help healthcare costs and corporate wellness.

-Social Media and Device Freedom

If you’re not a tweeting, instagraming, Mophie using, iPhone carrying addict, well the good for you, but most of us are. Constant connection and constant networking is common place. And it turns out that facilitating this networking habbit can actually benefit the company and keep workers happy at the same time. 1 in 3 Millenials polled said that they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexiblity and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer. Futhermore, did you know that friends of fan respresent a set of consumers 34 times larger than fans themselves, having employees who are more active on Facebook can greatly increase your digital reach.

-Telecommuting Options

Employers quickly learned that it is not only a benefit to the company to offering telecommuting options, but employees greatly benefit from this method of working. Again, the work-life balance has never been more sought after, and today’s technologies are making that dream more and more attainable. Telecommuting reportedly saves money, time, decreases stress, improved health, increases engagement and job satisfaction. These are all benefits that in turn come back to the company in positive way.

These are just a few incentives from outside of the money box. Money is great, money is wonderful infact, but sometimes, that’s just not what your employees want. Creating a program with many incentives to offer ensures that you cover all of your bases in getting employees engaged with the program. It will also help build your culture, brand and talent pool.


photo credit: Johan Larkander via photopin cc

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