Diversify Your Candidate Pipeline with a Public Referral Page

Cait MacBrien
Director of Marketing at Drafted

If your team is focused on diversity and inclusion (D&I) - you might be looking for some ways to get candidates from outside your “normal” sourcing methods i.e. employee referrals, LinkedIn mining, etc. Creating an external or non-employee or public referral program (whatever you want to call it) is one sourcing method you can add to your toolbox to reach a more diverse group of people. 

At its core, a public referral program is meant to entice people far and wide to refer people in their network to your company. This means you will by default reach new and different people through your program. However, that does not mean you can ‘set it and forget it’. Creating a meaningful external referral program that will impact your D&I efforts and help you reach your hiring goals will require thoughtful efforts and testing. 

By using Drafted to create a public facing referral page you can collect candidate referrals from non-employees and instantly track where you are getting the highest quality referrals. The product itself is very simple - when you start you’ll create a branded company page with your jobs and a way for people to submit a referral. Once your page is set up you need to start spreading the word i.e. sharing your referral page. 

Setting up your referral page on Drafted will look like this: 

  1. Configure your Drafted referral page
  2. Create tracking links for specific D&I efforts
  3. Distribute your links for these D&I efforts in the right areas

Before we get into how and where to share your program to collect referrals let’s take a look at some numbers. 

Referrals by the numbers

Only 8% of employers have an “official” external referral program today, but 40% of all referrals originate externally i.e. from a friend-of-a-friend.

In programs that exist, companies offer anywhere between $500 to $20,000 in external referral bonuses.

On average, only 20% of your website traffic will be interested in applying for a job, but up to 80% of your website traffic might know someone who would be interested. This means you have an entirely untapped referral source right on your company website!

How to use a public referral page to increase diversity

Being intentional with your public referral program is how you will impact your D&I initiatives. Putting a link to your referral page on your website is a great way to generate traffic to your program but let’s go a step further and talk about how to structure your program promotion around your hiring initiatives. Before we get into examples, take a step back to examine what you are trying to achieve with your referral program.

What, How, and Where

Start with these prompts to make sure you have a firm grasp on your D&I goals as it relates to your public referral program and how you will set out to achieve those goals.

  • What are your D&I initiatives both short term and long term?
  • How will your external referral program aid your team in reaching these goals?
  • Where can you find the groups of people you are looking to bring into your company?

Three examples of D&I hiring initiatives and how you can use your public referral program to meet your goals. 

Example: You want to reach groups of women engineers

  1. Identify where you can reach this group of people i.e. Girls Who Code 
  2. Make a campaign link called Girls Who Code on the Drafted Dashboard
  3. Set a referral policy e.g “If you refer someone who is hired, and they stay for 30 days, you will receive a $2500 check from our company”
  4. Give your referral link to Girls Who Code and let them know that it’s available to their entire community to make referrals. 

Example: You want to reach under represented groups of engineers

  1. Identify where you can reach this group of people i.e. POCIT
  2. Make a campaign link called POCIT on the Drafted Dashboard
  3. Set a referral policy e.g “If you refer someone who is hired, and they stay for 30 days, you will receive a $2500 check from our company”
  4. Give your referral link to POCIT and let them know that it’s available to their entire community to make referrals.

Example: You want to reach sales professionals outside of your organization

  1. Identify where you can reach this group of people i.e. Technology Sales Professionals Group on LinkedIn (90,000 members strong!)
  2. Make a campaign link called Sales Professionals on LinkedIn on the Drafted Dashboard
  3. Set a referral policy e.g “If you refer someone who is hired, and they stay for 30 days, you will receive a $2500 check from our company”
  4. Post your referral link to the group on LinkedIn and let group members know that it’s available to their entire community to make referrals.

Non-employee or public referral program are a powerful sourcing tool to reach many groups of people. As stated above you should not expect this to be a 'set it and forget it' program - you should plan to test, evaluate, and test again. Track everything! With thoughtful placement and promotion of your program you can do great things.

About Drafted

At Drafted, we believe that your company network is your single biggest competitive advantage when it comes to hiring. Our mission is to make it easy for you to leverage your network in the hiring process to find the best candidates. Your network is already powerful, it’s just too much work to make it a priority over the day-to-day of recruiting. Companies that use Drafted see their employee referral numbers go up by 2x, their time to hire drop by 30% and their overall hiring efficiency increase significantly within just a few months.