Develop your employee referral program

Experience tells you that employee referrals are the best way to hire. But most people don’t know how powerful an employee referral program can be for their business. Here are some basic referral program statistics:

Referral program stats:

Referrals get placed fastest.

  • The average referral candidate takes 29 days to place. Job board candidates take 10 additional days, and career site candidates take 16 additional days.

Referrals stay at their job at more than twice the rate of job board candidates

  • While 45% of referrals stay at least two years at a job, over 80% of employees sourced through job boards leave.

Referrals make up 29% of your workforce.

  • Only 7% of candidates are employee referred, but 29% of hires are employee referred.

Referrals come from inside and outside of your company.

  • While 59% of referrals are sourced through employees, 41% of referrals come from outside of your company.

People make referrals

  • 35% to help friends
  • 32% to help their company
  • 26% to be seen as valuable
  • 6% to make money

Referrals are:

  • A great culture fit, according to 70% of employers.
  • 25% more profitable than peers.
  • The best hires, according to 88% of employers.

Top companies hire through referrals: 

  • Facebook – 60%
  • Deloitte – 49%
  • Ernst & Young – 45%

Ready to build your referral engine?

The best way to start your employee referral program is to build a process to get referrals. Develop a system to get repeatable referrals from your employees and your extended community, and promote your program to your internal and external networks continuously. Consider adding rewards to your program to keep referrers engaged in the process, and don’t be afraid to ask your extended network to publish your rewards as well. The more people recruiting for your team, the more likely you’ll find the best people for all of your open roles.