41808445_sEmployee referral programs are an increasing trend in recruiting and retention practices. According to the 2014 Meritage Talent Solutions’ Employee Referral Trends Report, almost three quarters of companies surveyed said they have a formal employee referral program. Companies with more than 50,000 employees most commonly have formal employee referral programs, and companies with 10,000 to 50,000 employees are more likely to implement formal programs. Almost one third of those companies will use third-party software with social features.

HR thought leader Dr. John Sullivan is a strong advocate of employee referrals as the most powerful tool in recruiting. He knows from his company’s own research that almost 50 percent of all hires at top performing firms are employee referrals, and referral applicants have a 1 out of 3 hire rate compared to the 1 out of 18 hire rate of applicants from other sources.

The business benefits of employee referral programs include higher quality candidates, better quality hires, less wasted management time, and candidates that are a better fit. Dr. Sullivan explains that employee referral candidates have low termination rates, better employee retention rates, and faster time to initial productivity because they are pre-screened by existing employees who understand the company, the culture, the jobs, and the qualifications needs for candidates they refer.

The Recruiting division discusses employee referral programs in “Decrease Your Cost Per Hire with a Magnetic Employee Referral Program,” “Why Employee Referrals are Your Most Powerful Sourcing Strategy,” and “Expert Advice for an Effective Employee Referral Program.” There are so many reasons to use employee referrals in recruiting, and using employee referral program software makes it easy to implement and automate referral programs, link them to applicant tracking systems, and bump them out to social media. A few that we like include JobVite Refer, Zao, and Zalp.

 

JobVite Refer

The Recruiting Division has discussed JobVite recruiting software solutions in several posts, and we like JobVite Refer’s employee referral program features. JobVite Refer lets employers use social media to motivate employees to refer their openings on their social networks. Instead of posting jobs on job boards, employers engage candidates through their employees. Employees can broadcast openings to their Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter networks, and send private invitations to apply. JobVite Refer includes analytics and reports that let employers see which of their employees refer the most qualified candidates and reward them for it, use their applicant tracking systems for referrals,

 

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Zao

Zao lets employers recruit across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. It’s a social recruiting platform that makes it easy to automate referral programs, match job descriptions to candidate skills, increase engagement with gamification, and reward all referrers whether they are employees or not.

With Zao’s 3D smart matching, employers can choose what companies or universities they want to hire from, and match candidates across all open jobs, employees, and referral candidates. Zao integrates with leading applicant tracking systems and syncs with an employer’s ATS automatically, and adds gamification to make employee referrals fun with leaderboards and badges for achievements. Zao’s features include extended referrals and rewards for referrals from those in employee networks if desired, one-click email campaigns to engage employees for referrals, custom referral portals for sharing with employer brand, and analytics to track referrals and see how you’re connected to referred candidates.

 

Zalp

Zalp is employee referral program software designed to make the referral process as easy as possible for employees and recruiters. Zalp’s features make it easy for employees and recruiters to participate in social recruiting. Quick job posting lets recruiters select the reward type or post jobs right from their integrated ATS. It provides seven ways for employees to refer candidates, through LinkedIn or Facebook, by email, by resume upload, by sharing job notices on social networking profiles, by sending leads, and by smart match that lets employees see who in their networks match new job openings. Zalp Analyze provides referral analytics to track program performance, real time tracking lets employees see the status of their referrals whenever they want, and a fun leaderboard keeps employees motivated.

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