Employer Branding Blog

How Employee Communication Can Influence Referral Recruitment

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

As the Great Resignation enters its second year, employees are still switching jobs in droves. New Bureau of Labor Statistics data for March 2022 saw the overall quit rate return to its previous high of 3 percent of all employment, with a record 4.5 million people leaving their jobs that month. This leaves many employers worrying about how to recruit and retain top talents. Although we appreciate this is a highly complex topic, we’re sure employee communications can play a positive part. In this blog, we describe how employee communication can influence internal hires and referral recruitment.

Recruitment: referrals and internal hires

Whether you have just started your search or have been searching for months, employee referrals can be an important tool when sourcing talent. According to a survey by American recruiting corporation Jobvite, referral programs are on the rise with 79 percent of organizations offering employee referral programs and 48 percent seeing higher participation in referral programs.

Additionally, the Jobvite survey shows the value of internal hires: 40 percent of recruiters are making more hires from internal employees since the onset of the pandemic. In the war for talent, it isn’t such a bad idea to fish from your own pond first. But how do you find the right employees for employee referrals or internal hires?

Recruiters and internal communicators can join forces to search for the right matches for job vacancies.

Communicating vacancies internally

In smaller organizations, word of mouth will likely help recruiters spread the word about a new job opening. Recruiters in bigger organizations will need some help. They can leverage internal communication channels to advertise vacancies.

Potential internal candidates who may be searching for a new job outside of the organization will thus be informed of exciting opportunities in familiar territory. Employees who aren’t planning on leaving their job may prove to be the perfect referral – but only if they know about the vacancy.

With an employee communications platform such as Netpresenter, vacancies can be actively brought to the attention of staff via every device in your organization. A digital signage screen or a corporate screensaver shows vacancies to employees without interrupting them from their jobs.

digital signage sharepoint

Remind employees about existing vacancies by showing messages about your job openings repeatedly to keep them top of mind. Include a short summary with examples of your current openings and include a hyperlink to your vacancy page to redirect your employees to the right vacancies. You could even send a push notification or desktop alert to make employees aware of highly important job openings and draw the attention of potential candidates immediately.

Promoting your referral program internally

Did you know employee referrals only make up about 7 percent of potential candidates but have conversion rates of nearly 40 percent? Employee referrals have an advantage over candidates from job boards and other career sites: they are already prequalified before they even enter the (digital) walls of your organization, as established employees can attract candidates who are a better fit for the job and your organizational culture. They also stay longer at their positions than other hires.

These advantages are worth considering the introduction of an employee referral program. For your current employees to provide referrals successfully and with enthusiasm, the efficient promotion of the referral program within the company is vital.

It might be worth creating a special and unique employee referral program page on, for example, an intranet such as SharePoint. This page will serve to promote the program but can also help explain the terms and conditions to your current staff, as well as new colleagues they refer. Our SharePoint integration will take some of the workloads of promoting your referral page from your hands: it will automatically extract SharePoint headlines from your intranet (including your new job openings and your referral page) and will show them on every device in your organization. A hyperlink will redirect your staff to the right page without any effort, making referring someone even easier.

Continuing the referral program promotion after launching will keep your referral program top of mind and chances of finding a great match higher. Sending out periodic messages using an employee communication platform will help remind staff about your referral program and increase the chances of success. You can easily schedule your messages, so you don’t have to think about reminding your colleagues while still keeping your referral program front and center.

Involve staff in the recruitment

Involving staff in the recruitment will make it more personal and will show candidates a true image of what working at your company is like. You can involve staff by having them participate in videos about your culture or mission. A blog written by employees from various departments will also give candidates a taste of what life is like at your company. Share these on your social media for external hires and connect your social media to your internal communication channels to remind employees there’s a new social media post they can share on their own socials. It will help you find new hires through your current staff’s network.

Share employee referral incentives

Incentives can be an important motivation tool for employees in providing referrals. They don’t necessarily have to be monetary – they may even prevent employees from referring an acquaintance. The fear of giving the impression to refer someone only for the promised monetary incentive can halt employees from taking part in the employee referral program.

However, public recognition from the HR personnel and managers, the possibility to choose a new colleague or a personal bonus such as a spa or restaurant voucher or similar incentives can do miracles. Walking past a digital signage screen that shows a photo of a colleague enjoying their free day at the spa or that great new restaurant in town can provide just the motivation employees need to refer the perfect candidate. However, even incentives won’t motivate your colleagues if they don’t know about them, so make sure to bring them to your staff’s attention.

Are you still looking for ways to promote your employee referral program in your organization? Find the right communication tools to reach your employees, or get in touch with our consultants for a free 30-minute demo; they’re happy to look at the possibilities for your organization!

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Joey Pernot

Joey is Netpresenter’s Content Manager. His passion is to inspire and educate through engaging and creative content. Joey loves to spend time with friends and travel the world.