The only metric that matters in ensuring referral scheme success

The success or failure of your referral scheme boils down to one simple question: How engaged is your team?

A referral scheme will do wonders for your hiring process, saving you time and money, and also helping you access higher quality candidates. But, simply setting up a scheme within your company, isn't a silver bullet for hiring great candidates, you still need to put in the work in order for them to be successful.

A major factor in the failure of referral schemes is the lack of buy-in from employees. Seems obvious right? If your employees don’t engage with your scheme, then they don't make referrals. It's that simple.

Assessing how engaged your team really is

Start by perform a simple audit that attempts to assess one thing, how engaged is your team. By taking a step back, you can get some perspective and assess your company culture, to see whether your team will be responsive to a referral scheme. This will prevent your scheme from falling flat, before it even gets started.

There are two things you that can help you assess how engaged your team really is:

1. General employee satisfaction

This are the best indications of whether a referral scheme will be a success at your company. If your team is happy, they’ll be more likely to help you out and refer you to their connections. Conducting surveys about employee well-being are useful for gauging general team satisfaction.

2. Employee response rates

Looking at the rate of company communications responses is also useful because the more responsive your employees are, the more likely they will give their referrals. Look at how willing staff are to participate in company events. If they’re engaged with other company-related operations, uptake for a referral scheme will be high, too.

Setting your referral scheme up for success

If you have an existing scheme but are unhappy with the results, looking at the number of referrals you’re generating and the amount of employees that are actively participating are the best ways to gauge how engaged your employees are.

Without participation from your employees to act as your referrers, you won’t be getting too many referrals. Here are our tips for boosting employee engagement:

Involve your employees in the production of your scheme.

Actually asking your team for their opinions will get them on board and feeling involved in the scheme. They can also have their input on the types of incentives that would appeal to them.

Promote your scheme.

No one is going to use your referral scheme if they don’t know about it. It’s important to send emails, make flyers, hold meetings or informal drinks to promote the scheme. This needs to be consistent to keep the scheme alive.

Directly approach employees you think will be great referrers

For example, it’s a good idea to go the extra mile to involve your top performers in your scheme, as good people know good people. This also applies if you’re looking to boost diversity in your team, asking a range of diverse employees will in turn generate more diverse referrals. Personally reaching is often more effective than a general company email or social media update.

An engaged team will benefit your business in more ways than one

To quote renowned HR thought leader, Dr John Sullivan:

“In a candidate-driven market, your top employees are the most effective finding, relationship-building, and selling tool that you have.”

Your team is one of your best assets, not just in your referral scheme, but in your business as a whole. Nurture them and involve them, and they will drive your referral scheme, and your business, to success.