Do employee referrals better!

A lot of companies have an awful track record at running employee referral programs. It doesn't have to be that way — here’s some suggestions.

1 — Build a culture where referrals are taken seriously

Pick that guy!

Build a culture where your team members understand that if they recommend someone — they are putting their own reputation behind this person.

  1. How well do you know the person you are referring?
  2. How long have you worked with this person in a professional capacity?
  3. How did you work with this person? Were they your manager, or did you manage them? Did you work on the same project together?
  4. Why do you think this person is a good fit at our company?

2 — Take referrals seriously

You now have a user experience challenge on your hands

  1. Contact the referred person ASAP to schedule a screening call with them.
  2. If it isn’t a good fit for the role, or if the role is filled, do a screening call anyway. Remember point 1 above (“build a culture where referrals are taken seriously”) — if you have a culture where people only refer good candidates, the candidate is good, even if the role is filled. Perhaps there are other opportunities.
  3. If it’s a bad fit, give some feedback to the referrer, if relevant. The idea is to turn this into a learning loop. A poor referral is a training and learning opportunity to further help your company improve its hiring processes.
  4. If it’s a bad fit for this role, but potentially a good fit with the company — follow up with the candidate to see if there are other roles they might be interested in / qualified for.



Writer, startup pitch coach, enthusiastic dabbler in photography.

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