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Forward thinking companies are planning for time and cost savings in 2023 by revamping their employee referral program

Nasser Oudjidane
December 19, 2022

Many companies are well aware of the tremendous value of Employee Referral Programs (ERPs), from fastened hiring to higher-quality candidates. And probably most of the companies already have referral hiring as a part of their hiring strategy, as this software provides more safety, trust, and most importantly, saves a lot of resources. 

With automated employee referrals, companies now have the chance to keep up with all tasks and receive more significant referrals. Tracking employee referrals is a quite complex process that can be very time-consuming and exhausting for Talent Acquisition Managers.

Reasons why employee referral rates are not high in some companies:
  • Low engagement among employees. There would not be employee referrals without employees. The challenge is to integrate employee referrals into a company's culture in a way that an employee feels appreciation for giving referrals which makes them and everyone else engaged and in the end affects business outcomes.
  • Handling referrals is very time-consuming both for recruiters and employees. The more referred candidates and in-house people involved, the harder it becomes to manage them all, meaning you need to have more resources to cope with the workload. You also need software to get rid of the manual tasks, such as organizing all applications, filtering out when most suitable ones for the position, and so on.
  • Losing important information — do not underestimate the human factor. Manual methods of running a referral program are extremely difficult when it comes to tracking. They're an open space for error — someone forgets to check back in time, forgets to record a referral, information gets lost, etc.
  • Not every ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is built to handle employee referrals. Most of the companies are using ATS where employees have to go a long way to put the referral into the system, and recruiters find it hard to provide updates to the employee who referred someone. 

How can we make the employee referral process better? Through software and employee referral automation.

So what are the best practices of making the process more efficient for both employees and Talent Acquisition departments?

Best Ways To Automate Employee Referrals

Nowadays, with powerful software and tools, you can easily automate manual requests for referrals, matching of employee referrals with jobs and getting in touch with candidates.You don’t have to automate it all if you have not started with the basics. So here’s the first thing you can do.

Easy but inefficient: Use the possibilities of your ATS

Most Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) allow submissions of candidate CVs from existing employees and job matching. This helps to streamline recruitment and minimize errors when it comes to analyzing sources of the candidates, and how well-working the referral program is. 99% of Fortune 500 companies rely on ATS to handle large volumes of applications and find the right job fits. 

Here is how most popular ATS handle the employee referral process:

  • Greenhouse offers a simple automated process for submitting a referral. An easy-fill-out form with a note field (for extra info or regards). After submitting a referral, the employee will receive status notifications so they can track the status of their referrals. It’s a good solution, however, it requires some time and effort from the employee. This can make the referral program not desirable, so more employees will be turning down the opportunity to submit a referral if it’s not their good friend asking them to. Plus, here an employee can only submit people who specifically sent them their CVs and already expressed interest in the position. They cannot refer passive candidates — e.g., people whose CVs they didn’t obtain.
  • Lever enables employees to submit candidate resumes, include their relevant social media or portfolios, and mention the position which they think a candidate will be a good fit for. Employees can also always go back to the referral and edit, delete, or mark it as a secret. In general, the referral submission process is similar to one in Greenhouse, so the process of submitting a referral won’t be perceived as something quick and easy, plus again — it’s a way to submit profiles of people who are already interested in a job.

These are employee referral capabilities most recruiters and TAs are used to. However you cannot say the capabilities offered by ATS are efficient and time-saving? The main advantage of employees using the ATS to offer referrals is the fact that referrals won’t get lost. Plus, status updates like in Greenhouse makes employees feel slightly better involved. 

All in all, ATS-built-in tools are mostly a way to keep track record of referrals, however, they don’t offer the opportunity to completely automate the whole process.

Efficient and Easy: Use the employee referral automation platforms

There already exist a few employee referral automation platforms on the market, but here we’d like to focus more on Intrro since it is a comprehensive solution to automate the employee referral process from the beginning until the end.

The platform empowers warm connections between hiring teams and the talent in company’s employees’ network. It helps to fill open roles and in return rewards their staff with tailored referral bonuses. Intrro enables systematic and scalable referrals. 

You can easily integrate Intrro with other tools you’re already using, such as Lever, Greenhouse, Slack, and more.

How Intrro works for employees

An employee will connect their LinkedIn network to Intrro in a few clicks. You can encourage them to connect to Intrro via pre-built Slack and email automations — you don’t have to set up much on the recruiter’s side.

After they mark people they can introduce or people they recommend but do not want to introduce, their next point of touch with Intrro will be to do introductions — only to people whom recruiters found interesting.

How the software serves recruiters

Recruiters will get access to the talent pool that their colleagues recommend, and then they can search within the best matches to particular jobs in ATS.

We don’t want to brag but there is no other employee referral platform that provides such a level of automation for the whole referral process.

With Intrro, customers have seen a growth of 3x times in employee referrals and a huge amount of resources saved.

If you have any questions or want to see how the tool actually works - request a quick demo of Intrro now.


Automation tools are incredible, as they free up our time and help us focus on what’s important. Automating manual tasks allows hiring professionals to achieve better results without spending a lot of resources. A referral program serves as a powerful strategy for attracting highly-qualified talent, so it’s worth including it in your hiring strategy.

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