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What is an employee referral program?

An employee referral program is an approach to recruitment that is designed to allow employees to be involved in their company's recruiting process. As the term referral suggests, this method involves employees sharing a current open position in their company with their network. Moreover, they can provide recommendations of candidates who they believe would make a good addition or hire.

Adopting this program is a great way to boost employee appreciation and motivation. Demonstrating that any employee participation would be considered highly valuable is a terrific way to attract better talent whilst engaging employees. Beyond this, employees sharing jobs through social media channels will bring more attention to the company. This provides a much wider reach for your company's branding and at the same time advertizes job vacancies across a vast range of prospects from different backgrounds.

Candidates that apply through the referral program, via employee shares, enable the employee to give any additional information about the candidate that could be helpful. This creates a fuller picture for hiring staff and enables employees to really promote those who they believe would really be a good fit in your team. Furthermore, these candidates have a greater chance of adapting well to the organizational culture, since they will already know someone who works at the company. Through an employee referral program, you can expect a faster and more cost-effective hiring process. What's more, you can hire with more confidence as the new employee comes with a personal reference.

Sharing jobs over social media has become an increasingly popular trend in the referral process. Particularly as it often leads to the signing of high quality and qualified candidates for a fraction of the price. The hiring team or HR department do not have to put in as much time to applicant tracking systems since they have a direct and reliable route of communication through the employee.

With this shift towards social media and referral programs, there has been a notable uptake in the sharing of open positions online. In fact in 2016, Linkedin's Global Talent Trends Report found that as many as 90% of professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. This included people that were not even actively looking for a new job.

This practice might be associated with nepotism since it is seeimgly prioritizing relatives or friends for positions. Consequently, it is imperative that the hiring process is run fairly and with consideration for all potential candidates. The employee referral program is more often held as a swift process to recruit staff. Processes should be in place to prevent all hires coming from internal connections to prevent nepotistic hiring and a homogenization of the workforce.

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