Looking to lower your Cost per Hire? Magnetize your Employee Referral Program and watch your cost per hire inch downward.

Studies show that referrals have a higher conversion-to-hire rate than most other candidate sources, including job boards, networking events, and even Social Media. These same studies also show higher levels of Hiring Manager satisfaction from employee referrals, accompanied by lower levels of turnover. If employee referrals are not part of your recruiting process, consider making it a part of your key sourcing strategy.

Review and Revise Your Referral Program

Employee referral programs fail for a variety of reasons. Many are boring, have a lot of rules for participation and qualification, and don’t provide enough rewards. If your referral program isn’t producing the results you’d like, review it and consider revising it to make it more attractive to your employees and more productive for your recruiting process. Survey employees and management, analyze past referrals, and talk to employees who were hired through the referral program to understand what works and what needs to be updated. Decide what the focus needs to be, make the rules simple, add interesting and variable rewards instead of just cash, incorporate social media into your program, and promote it consistently. Although you may have to spend a little more money up front, you will be rewarded in the end with an overall lower cost per hire.

Create Interesting Job Descriptions and Posts

Make sure the job descriptions and job posts that your employees and candidates see are interesting, engaging, and compelling. In “The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired,” author Lou Adler explains that a boring job description will not attract good candidates, even through an active referral program. Active language, information about work environment and company culture instead of just essential functions and prerequisites, and manager and employee blurbs about the work bring a position to life for candidates and the employees who refer them. Consider opening a YouTube channel to video employees and managers discussing the company and the type of work for the jobs you have open. To put a sizeable dent in your cost per hire, your job descriptions and job postings must attract talented people and motivate employees to refer qualified candidates.

Ask for Referrals

Talk to current employees who will work with the person in the position you are recruiting for and ask if they know of anyone who would be a good fit for the job. Talk to managers in other departments and ask if they know of good employees interested in a move to the open position. Talk to others who have a vested interest in filling the job with someone they know and see if they will refer a colleague or alumni. Talk about your opening at all meetings and events you attend and ask for referrals from clients, vendors, and others in your industry.

Don’t leave your recruiting process with a weak and ineffective employee referral program, or worse, no referral program at all. Lower your cost per hire and save time in your recruiting process with an engaging, effective referral strategy. Implement an active referral program or improve your current program, promote it consistently, and make it a productive part of a key sourcing strategy that attracts and brings in qualified candidates quickly and cost effectively. Your cost per hire and your turnover will decrease, and your quality of hire will soar.

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