Employee Referral Programs: The employee as recruiter


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When it comes to finding qualified candidates, positive word of mouth and professional employee referral management are indispensable. Because enthusiastic employee fans, dedicated advocates and credible referrers are the most effective recruiter. Employee Referral Programs: Employee Recruiter Word of mouth in recruiting


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Anne M. Schüller's Profile anne-m-schueller_portrait-mit-hutAnne M. Schüller is a management thinker, keynote speaker, business coach and multiple award-winning bestselling author. She has repeatedly been named Top Voice by Business Network LinkedIn.

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Why we trust such recommendations

Recommendations are the link between old and new shores. They lay the steps and make the path safe and free. They have the highest persuasive power - and the lowest scatter losses. Because they specifically contact the persons who are looking for a specific position and the cooperation in the Team actually. And they do so with considerable closing rates.

Because referrers, whether you know them personally or encounter them as strangers in the vastness of the web, provide orientation in the jungle of possibilities. They replace lack of knowledge with trust. Their “likes” and “dislikes” make our brain's job very easy. They shorten decision-making processes and reduce the risk of a dangerous wrong decision.

The recommendations of a well-mannered third party reduce the risk of disappointment. They create security. And they help us save a lot of time. For all these reasons, we often follow blinds almost blindly. This is not only happening on the customer front, but also in the recruiting sector.

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What makes employee recommendations so successful

Various studies show that employees who are recommended by a recommendation are usually the most valuable: they get faster on board, they fit better, they integrate more smoothly, they stay longer, they work more committed, they are more productive and they themselves become more of a recommendation active.

Investigations also show: Recommendations from top people bring the same employees: highly engaged, loyal, highly efficient. Recommendations from good to medium-sized employees bring good to medium-sized employees, and recommendations from employees who are disappointed. First of all, the top people should be encouraged to recommend.

Key figures: How the success of the recommendation can be measured

Internal success rates can be determined by the following questions:

  • What is the maximum number of employees for employee recommendations? And for other activities?
  • How long does it take before the contract is signed? And for other activities?
  • What is the “completion rate” for employee recommendations? What about other activities?
  • How expensive is a new employee if he comes through a recommendation? And how expensive is it in the case of other recruiting measures?
  • What is the proportion of the recommended who successfully complete the probationary period? And what is the share of the non-recommended?
  • What are the lead times, the fluctuation rate and other relevant key figures for the recommended? And for those not recommended?
  • With what probability are recommended employees who have been active as a recommendation?
  • Which employees are most likely to recommend in which departments? With what success? And what is the quality?
  • Are there gender, cultural, regional or national differences? Are there differences in different business areas or branches?
  • Who or what is most strongly recommended? And what not?

These analyzes are used to identify success patterns and develop concrete measures to further increase the current recom- mendation volume and the resulting quality of applica- tion.

An example from the practice: the Hamburg Volksbank

"You know each other." With this motto, Hamburger Volksbank is looking for new colleagues with the help of its employees. And so it goes on in the text: “Establish contact with potential new employees. If there is an employment contract with this applicant, you will really get going. For successful brokerage, drive our Hamburg Volksbank MINI Cabrio for two months and absolutely free of charge. ”

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That depends! The employees do not want to give the car anymore. Added to this is the pride of being allowed to drive a company car. For the bank, of course, the marketing effect on the street counts - plus the communication in the network of the happy referrer. And success in numbers? He speaks for himself!

“In the period from 2008 to 2012, we made 89 new hires, 18 employees and thus around a fifth came from the referral program. A total of 28 new hires are no longer employed by us after an average of 18 months. Only one person from the referral program left us because of a change of residence. The remaining 17 are still loyal and committed team members, ”Wolfram Kaiser, Head of Human Resources at the bank, tells me.


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