Employee Referral Bonus Programs

Employee Referral Bonus Programs

Most Innovative Ideas for Employee referral bonus programs.


Employee referral bonus programs are considered suitable, and the result is bearing practices in companies instead of traditional methods. Recruitment is a significant churn around the process for companies. The on-going cycle demands a vast database that needs to be screened & scheduled for recruitment. 


The Employee recruitment sources as the default ones being

1. Advertising through Print media.
2. Advertising through online job portals.
3. Showcasing job posting on the company website.
4. Arranging job fairs.
5. Campus placements.
6. Recruitment agencies.


All the above activities demand investments to attract the right talent. However, there is no guarantee that high sources will attract the right talent and retain. 


What is an Employee Referral Bonus Program?


An employee referral program is introduced by companies to get new hires by referral recommendations from in-house employees. There is a bonus linked to the referral program to encourage employees to refer to a skilled workforce.


Advantage of the Employee Referral Bonus Programs.


Better recommendations

A skilled employee has his/her circle of similarly skilled employees and can recommend from his ex-colleagues, friends, or friends in similar or competitor organizations, and this has higher chances of bringing the right talent and immediate closures.


 Increased retention of referring an employee

The referring employee not only remains motivated by attracting the employee referral bonus but feels obliged to stick around and support the employee referred by him and joined.


 Reduced recruitment cost

The companies can announce highly attractive bonus vis-à-vis paying considerable fees to recruitment agencies. The referral process any day brings down the recruitment cost considerably.


 Seek candidates who are not looking for jobs

The referral process helps to reach those people in the job market who are just dormant and not hunters. Some candidates are all over the place and might not turn to be a long-term employee to the organization. Attracting need-based employee should not be the motive, but will-based employees.


 Talent across geographies

If your company is spreading across geographies, employee referral is the best way to attract local candidates in the respective locations.

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The Pre Requisites of an Employee Bonus Referral Program.


1. Design a referral program to attract and hire the required skills
2.  A detailed job description can bring in the right resources and save shortlisting time.
3.  The referral bonus program applies only to permanent positions and not part-time or contract positions.
4.  Detailed guidelines of the program trajectory ensure clarity and better results.
5. The program should be time-bound to attract talent in a short period. If the program is not time-bound, it might fizzle out for want of enthusiasm and results.
6. The program should not be forced but communicated in a way that the most dormant of employees also feels inspired to refer to.
7.  The referral bonus must be attractive to create a significant interest amongst the employee to act.
8.  The referral bonus program should be employee-friendly and not ambiguous.
9. The employee referral Bonus program should be un-biased to specific departments and employees.
10.  When referrals come for interviews, it has to be a streamlined process. Companies should promptly communicate the interview feedback.
11. Candidate who is on hold or not rejected, Companies should consider candidates in the future for making an offer. Such an ambiguous case should have a back-up of a fool-proof guideline supporting the employee recommending, such that the recommending employee should not feel defeated or cheated.
12. To be applicable for the Employee Referral Bonus, the employees recommending the candidates should be part of the organization, not having resigned, before the offer is rolled out to the recommended candidate.

Where Can Organizations Utilize Employee Referral Bonus Programs?


1. Recruitment of minorities.
2. Recruitment of specialized and rare skills.
3. Recruitment of senior management.


Companies Can Announce Various Employee Bonus Referral Programs Ideas.


Attractive Cash Bonus

A cash bonus has always been a motivation factor for recommending. Where a company finds a well-fit employee for a role, the referring employee is also satisfied with the cash reward aspect.


Holiday Package National / International

What best can an employee get than a paid holiday? National and International paid holidays are certainly an element of pride for the employee.


 Fulfilling the Philanthropic Need

Philanthropy is a secluded and very sacred side of an individual. Companies should think of a donation on behalf of the referring employee. AN employee should choose the charitable organization to offer a donation.


Sponsor Education/ Skills Workshops

Believe in investing in your employees to, in turn, benefit the organization. Referral Bonus can be in the form of sponsoring a short-term education/ skill enhancement or training; the referring employee has been keen on for some time. 


Latest Gadgets in the Market

A bonus should be attractive, and that in itself creates the desire to act and recommend. As a referral bonus, try to include gadgets that are very new in the market – like the range of mobile phones, smartwatches.


A sense of fulfillment

A referral bonus to some employees could be the pride in able to obtain a job for someone he/she knows. Acknowledge this employee during employee gatherings in terms of the value the employee has created for the company.


Direct Acknowledgments by the Senior Management

Acknowledging the employee by the Senior Management during the Annual Award Functions.


Double Pay

Usually, under the company’s policies, an employee attracts referral bonus only when a referred employee completes 90 days or 180 days of service. The company should pay the 1st installment to the referring employee when the reference has been offered and second then the reference completes 3 or 6 months in service. While making the first installment, make the referring employee accountable for the joining and retention of his/her reference.


Acknowledge the Employee on Company’s Social Networking Sites and Intranet.

Bring the referring employee in the limelight by showcasing as the best referral partner on the company’s social networking sites and intranet.


Encashed Holidays Bonus Reward

Considerable reward holidays can come very handy to employees for utilizing and if not used an option of en-cashing at the end of the year.


Gift Vouchers

Attractive gift vouchers across versatile products/services can opt.


Sponsored Lunch / Dinner

 A sponsored lunch/dinner for the employee and his/her family in premium restaurants.


Pay in Gold

Indians have a higher affinity for gold. A referral bonus as a considerable weight of gold coins.


Secure the Employee

Offer a referral bonus that is a lump sum paid insurance policy to secure the employee/employee’s family.


Sponsored Adventure Trips

What can be more exciting than a fully sponsored, thrilling adventure-filled holiday? Sky diving, hiking in the amazon forests, Hang gliding or an Antarctica expedition could keep the excitement building.


Also Read: The Complete Guide to Give Employee Feedback  


Process Of Employee Referral Bonus Programs:


1. An employee referral bonus program announcement email can keep all the employees on one page regarding the process.
2. Check for duplication of c.v’s with the existing database. It is after all an effort from the employee in identifying the closest fit to the job description, hence even if the employee is not winning the joining bonus, he/she should still be acknowledged for their contribution in some way.
3. Does a referral that has been offered a job and not joined in classifying for the Employee Referral Bonus programs should be further identified.
4. Document the different stages of the referral process for the referee.


The potential challenges with having an efficient employee referral bonus Programs are:


1. Innovative employee referral bonus ideas.
2. Adequate infrastructure to support the program
3. Incorporating The Employee Referral Bonus Programs as a part of the basic recruitment strategy.
4. To monitor the progress of each referral and the bonus accrued with every case.
5. Timely paying of bonuses to employees, to maintain the momentum of the program as well as to bring in a live stream of candidatures.
6. Analyze and compare the output to the goals set and convert it into a document. The review helps in making processes better.


Employee Referral Bonus Programs as a regular part of the HR Process once a year can be adapted as a strategic recruitment initiative, once in a year, employees will stay tuned to recommending candidatures. They will ensure they work on good referrals well in advance. Drive the employee referral programs systematically and adroitly. 


The After Effects of the Employee Referral Bonus Programs.


1. Keep updating on the process.
2. Evaluate processes in the context of changing times and evolve.
3. Keep employees in the loop.
4. Keeping the employees in a closed loop about the process is most important to value their trust.


Cash prizes or rewards do not necessarily drive employee referral Bonus programs. There have been organizations that have been asking employees to refer candidates based on goodwill. So that, Guess, this scenario is applicable for companies with absolutely unique working culture and a very deeply rooted employee engagement initiatives. Only then, the employees are driven to refer candidates without any expectation, The employee in such cases is doing a great value-addition to the company by introducing skilled talent.

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