Spice that Referral Up: the Ultimate Recipe for Employee Referral Program

We all love spices. Our favourite dish would taste like nothing if we don’t get to add that garlic pepper, rosemary, or the Montreal Steak spice. Can you imagine life without spice? Well, I can’t. This also adds to my point of the day: Employee Referral Programs also need to be spiced!

Here is a list of the ingredients that you must add to your ERP if you want to get the fullest flavor (potential) of it:


  • 3 Cups of Automating Metrics
  • 2 Tablespoons of Refreshing the Program
  • 1 full Channel Your Inner Marketing Genius
  • 1 3/4 of Put Yourself in Their Shoes
  • 8 Cups of Variety is the Spice of Life
  • 1 teaspoon of Money isn’t Everything




  1. Placing Automating and Metrics in the pan. Automating your ERP will often come with manual tracking for incentive programs, marketing and awareness efforts to employees. This can lead to several hours of admin time within a week (hiring someone full-time to manage the entire program is another way to make things easier). Through the use of technology, automating will allow you to focus on more critical tasks. Keep in mind that metrics are also essential in accurately tracking sources for hires. Having an applicant tracking system with metrics give you the opportunity to track the system health, such as eliminating a ROI of a referral campaign or a system refresh.
  2. Put Refreshing the Programs into a mixing bowl and mix until bubbles. Like other initiatives or policies, ERPs need to remain fresh to maintain the expected employee engagement and commitment. It is essential to remain current in all your tracking metrics for the program to reach the program’s fullest potential. One way to ensure this is to always look at your metrics: determine any change in engagement in order to effectively change your program. Making incentives and engagement as variable factors, most companies utilize ingenious marketing campaigns and extrinsic rewards to invigorate a referral program.
  3.  Add Channel Your Inner Marketing Genius into the mixing bowl and mix until even. Great companies always try to be creative when building an ERP. We love what Webroot did. Not only did HR communicate their ERP like a “spy-agent” game where their employees are agents “rooting out” the best candidates, but they also built recruitment selling points right into the piece. Moreover, since not all employees are extroverts, WebRoot’s HR created an additional “how to network” list to aid them.
  4. Add Put Yourself in Their Shoes along with the mixed ingredients and spread on top of automating and metrics. Then bake for 2 hours. In the world of technology, we want services to be real time. Imagine if Amazon.com shipped your purchase months later! You wouldn’t be happy. Similarly, employees crave immediate recognition, whether it is just a “thanks” or a reward. If probation periods are required, we strongly suggest no more than 3 months, with at least a portion of the reward given prior to hire. After all, the employee referred a candidate who was seen as a good hire and selected by the organization. He/She did her part, whether or not the new hire leaves before the probation period.
  5. Take the baked goods out of oven and spread Variety is the Spice of the Life all over. You may consider adding interview bonuses. Companies who elect to do this commonly decrease the overall hire bonus, but at the same time provide incentives that have lasting impact. Companies like ev3 have long understood that having multiple ways to recognize will increase engagement and loyalty. Not only does ev3 give up to $4,000 in cash per hire, it also does a quarterly draw of $500 for just referring along with a branded gift to both the candidate and the referrer.
  6. Sprinkle Money isn’t Everything on top. Experiential rewards are proven to resonate with people more than cash does. Cash is spent on mortgage payments and credit card bills, while experiential rewards etch your company into your employees’ memories when they reminisce.

Now you can enjoy a perfect spiced-up Employee Referral Program!


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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] a month or a $25 gift card to a coffee shop. Money isn’t everything as stated in our past blogs: “Spice that Referral Up.” These experiences can also be larger experiences as well, such as up-scale dinners or tickets to a […]

  2. […] for the program in the future. When it comes to building campaigns as stated in this post Spice that Referral Up: the Ultimate Recipe for Employee Referral Program, it’s important to track the deltas between the normal ERP and a special […]

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