Touchpoint survey analysis: why employee referrals are up and how you can benefit

The results from our latest Touchpoint Survey are in, showing that employee referrals are becoming an increasingly popular and effective way to recruit top technical candidates. But why are referrals winning companies talent, and how can you navigate the common referral pitfalls to ensure the best outcome for your business and employees? Let’s find out. 

The rise of employee referrals

Employee referral programs have dramatically increased in popularity over recent years, with four out of five employers now rating referrals as their best method for generating above-average applicants and high return on investment. Why? 

Employee referrals come with the added benefit of candidate and employer pre-screening. The referring employee knows both the business and candidate well enough to recognise a good fit and personally recommend one another. 

This form of pre-screening eliminates a significant step in the recruitment process, resulting in benefits including:

  • Timesaving - referred candidates are 55% faster to hire than regular candidates. 
  • Acceptance - referred candidates are up to 6.6% more likely to accept job offers. 
  • Retention - referred candidates have a 25% higher retention rate after two years. 
  • Performance - referred candidates produce an average 25% more profit. 
  • Cost - employee referrals can save companies more than £2,000 per hire. 

(Source: Medium).

In addition, by seeking and considering the recommendations of others, employee referrals can increase the engagement and retention of existing employees.

What to look out for when using referrals

So, why don’t all companies use employee referrals as their primary recruitment method? While referral recruitment has its benefits, there are some challenges to navigate first. These include avoiding referrals based on friendship or reward rather than suitability for the role, generating enough referrals to meet demand, encouraging diversity and avoiding employee disengagement when you don’t hire the referred candidate. 

How to successfully implement employee referrals

To avoid these referral pitfalls and implement a successful and rewarding referral program, we recommend the following:

Outlining your referral program

For internal referrals, it’s essential that you outline the specifics of your referral program in a policy that’s available to all. This should include details of any reward offered, including how long the referred employee must remain in their role to generate the reward, and any restrictions such as referring spouses or close family members. 

Increasing your referral pool

While an internal employee referral program is great for boosting morale, it can result in a limited referral pool with little diversity. Expand your referral program by accepting referrals from successfully placed candidates in the industry through your specialised IT recruitment consultant. This is a hugely popular and successful method with many of Evolution’s clients and candidates. 

Improving the recruitment process

A referral recruitment program is only as good as the recruitment process itself. Other insights from our latest Touchpoint Survey shows that technical candidates really value and appreciate the social media interaction, interview preparation, and feedback we provide throughout the recruitment process. Implement these practices into your own recruitment processes to engage and entice referred employees and encourage referrals. 

If you’re looking for ways to revamp and revitalise your tech recruitment in 2020, but unsure of where to start, get in touch with one of our IT consultants today. We can talk you through the benefits of candidate referrals and get your latest recruitment campaign off to the right start. 

Andy Brack

Director - Permanent Recruitment

View Profile