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Referral Talks

Creative ideas to boost referrals

Nasser Oudjidane
December 19, 2022

Let’s be honest: recruitment often feels stuck in the past. All too often, finding the right candidate feels like door-to-door sales, with low response rates, spammy emails and expensive fees. In the ‘war for talent’, many recruiters are still riding on horseback with bayonets. Enter employee referrals: a less risky and more rewarding way to hire staff. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the creative ways you can modernise and revitalise your referral strategy.

Why referrals matter

The way we hire staff can feel like a never-ending search to find a needle in a haystack. But in the recruitment game, there’s a secret sauce – employee referrals. 

Every hire is a potential risk, and no appointment comes with a guarantee of success. But referrals act as a vetting procedure, as your co-workers have direct first-hand experience of working with the candidate in question. We can all talk a good game in an interview, but your teammates’ testimonials can give you the real measure of a candidate’s aptitude, rather than their ability to bluff. Ultimately, that means less risk of a ‘bad hire’. In fact, referrals are seven times more likely to get hired than all other candidate sources, and they’re two times more likely to stick around for the long-term than someone who wasn’t referred.

And of course, the simple fact is that recruiting the traditional way is expensive. In the US, an agency hire costs almost $20,000 in most cases. Think of all the Friday cocktails that could buy…

Creative ways you can boost referrals

So, we’re agreed that referrals are the way to go. What next? Referrals remain a relatively small slice of the recruitment pie, dwarfed by the number of successful candidates who tend to apply for a job, or come through an agency. But nothing stays the same forever, and here are some ideas to increase your share of referral hires.

  • Target the passive talent. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but it seems that a lot of those fish aren’t actively looking. There’s no rulebook that says your leads have to be out of work; a lot of the time, the best talent is (unsurprisingly) already working elsewhere. By (metaphorically) batting your eyelashes at those bright sparks who are seemingly settled in other jobs, you may stand a better chance of acquiring the right person at your company.
  • Filter for diverse candidates. “People tend to refer job candidates who look like themselves,” according to a piece in the Harvard Business Review on Pinterest’s efforts to improve diversity rates. Pinterest’s solution was to “ask people for loose connections and leads instead of referrals”.
  • Incentivise your people. We all love shiny rewards, so dangling a carrot as an incentive for those who refer successful candidates could pay dividends. This might come in the form of a finder’s fee (which can still work out cheaper than recruiter charges) and other incentives such as Amazon vouchers.
  • Automate! There’s nothing wrong with making spreadsheets, consulting with staff, and writing lists of referrals on crumpled bits of paper. But transferring from a manual process to an automated one could make everyone’s life easier. With the right referral platform, you can make it faster and simpler for your employees to endorse a promising lead, saving you time (and money) before you embark on a wild goose chase for the wrong candidate.
How Intrro can transform the way you recruit

Recruitment isn’t rocket science, but neither is it a piece of cake. With Intrro, you can strengthen your hand in the ‘war for talent’ with our automated employee referral platform. Intrro lets you proactively mine your employees’ networks and gives you a heads-up if there are existing relationships between candidates and your co-workers. That means you can get the inside track on whether someone is a good match, all through a simple, user-friendly interface. What’s not to like?

But don’t just take our word for it. Try Intrro for yourself with a free trial. TRY INTRRO

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