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Employee Referral Page

How to run a referral jam

Nasser Oudjidane
March 21, 2023

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a never-ending meeting, but if the idea of an employee referral party makes you shudder, fear not! There are lots of ways you can make a ‘sourcing jam’ fun, well-attended and effective.

Why sourcing jams need proper planning

Your colleagues are busy beavers, and getting everyone in one room (or a Zoom call) to attend a referral event is no small task. Nevertheless, it’s important you persevere; a sourcing jam without referrers is like a donut without...jam.

With the right planning and tools, you can organise an event that brings your people together, respects their time, and generates some useful leads.

Before you start your sourcing jam

Whether your sourcing jam is a hit or a miss will depend on the preparation you do in advance. So before you dive head-first into a referral event, here’s how you can lay the groundwork.

  • Give your staff a heads-up. A sourcing jam shouldn’t just appear out of a clear blue sky. By giving your staff plenty of advance notice, they can free-up their diary. Plus, having time to prepare may feel less pressurising than receiving a last-minute invite.
  • Talk to your team. You may wish to arrange a one-to-one chat with your hiring manager in the weeks before the referral jam. By doing so, you can ask them to approve the participation of recruitment team members, but also, discuss how everyone’s hiring objectives can align. In your invitation to the wider company, you should be open about the objectives of the meeting so they feel comfortable with it. Once they’ve agreed to chat, you can then pick their brains by asking questions like, ‘who is the best person you’ve ever worked with?’ 
  • Keep a list. There’s nothing to stop you building a spreadsheet of recommendations in the days and weeks before a sourcing jam. This can be continually updated over the months and years, and give you a useful launchpad when it comes to hosting your referral event.
  • Engage your new joiners. Anyone who’s recently started at your company will have a fresh memory of who their most talented former colleagues are. The first 45 to 90 days of a new job are also the time where new joiners are generally most engaged, so speaking to them could be worth its weight in Haribo Goldbears.
  • Focus on turnout. When it comes to driving up attendance, calendar invites and email reminders are your friend. You could even put together a short video to explain why the event matters to your company, which may help sway any doubters. 
How to make your sourcing jam effective

Once your team are fully sold on the idea of a sourcing jam, how can you make it a success? Here are some tips.

  1. Set a goal

No one likes a meeting where they have no clue why they’re there. Sourcing jams are effective when you have a specific goal in mind. That could be to fill a specific role or two, which is preferable to focusing on too many vacancies and spreading yourself too thin. Or it could be an organisational objective, such as hiring more staff from diverse backgrounds. Either way, clarity is key.

  1. Leverage online networks

When drumming up your most promising leads, relying on your employees’ memory bank alone is probably not going to cut it. It goes without saying that a good referral party should utilise your colleagues’ LinkedIn network, but there are other ports of call too. GitHub is positively teeming with software developers, while Behance and Dribbble are home to lots of talented designers and creatives.

  1. Invite underrepresented groups

While referrals are a powerful tool in your armoury when it comes to finding talent, it’s worth being mindful that even with the best of intentions, someone’s friends and acquaintances may come from the same well-trodden university and graduate employment path. Opening up your invite list to underrepresented groups – for example, by looking beyond qualifications on a CV – means your organisation can reflect society at large.

  1. Make it fun

Who said meetings have to be boring? Whether you’re carrying out your sourcing jam remotely or in-person, getting a budget for food and drink could help get the party started. You could also ‘gamify’ the occasion by offering a prize to the person who generates the most leads. And if you’ve got someone to take charge of the Spotify playlist, even better.

  1. Use a referral platform

While pencils and spreadsheets have their place, a quality employee referral app – cough, Intrro! – could streamline and transform your entire sourcing jam process. Intrro can sync your employees’ networks in just a couple of clicks, conduct a ‘deep search’ to unearth those diamonds from the past, and personalise the nudging of employees by asking tailored questions so you don’t have to.

Try Intrro for free

As the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try Inttro for free. We’re proud to have developed an employee referral platform that makes life easier for countless businesses and their people. See for yourself and make your next sourcing jam a breeze with our effortlessly easy collaboration tools.


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