As an advertising agency, you may be surprised to hear us saying that word of mouth is the most powerful and cost-effective advertising tool there is. But it’s true. Your employees have the potential to be your biggest resourcing tool, whilst also providing high quality, low cost candidates – delivered right to your door with minimal effort from you. So it’s an obvious direction of travel for all employers to take. Yet a lot of our clients look to us for advice on how to develop and roll out great RAF schemes.
It’s pretty commonplace to have low awareness of RAF in the workplace. This means that referrals are also typically pitifully low – even in big organisations. But its success correlates directly into how much effort you, the employer, put into it. Even if your workforce is aware, they probably only know about the vacancies that sit within their own team, or worse still they can’t be bothered as it’s too much effort and there’s nothing in it for them.
So we’ve put together the top 5 ways to help you make your RAF work hard for you.
- Keep it simple
As we’ve already mentioned some employees find the whole thing too confusing so just don’t bother. So don’t develop over complicated and convoluted ways for your workforce to promote you as an employer to their network. Communicate your RAF scheme in an accessible and simple to understand way.
- Don’t be complacent
Your RAF scheme is unlikely to gain much momentum, if you simply promote it on your intranet. Make it as simple as possible for people to opt in to notifications about roles and rewards for referring. Get creative. Really creative. Here are a few examples of what we mean:
Consider making a specific RAF portal/website to make it super easy for your existing employees to find roles and make subsequent referrals. Hold competitions that feature company-wide leader boards. Promote your RAF in an impactful way in your reception area – have high impact comms and props to assist this.
- Get new starters referring immediately
A new employee has joined you as they had enough of their previous employer for whatever reason. So when new employees accept a job offer with you, or are being onboarded, they are prime for referring others. Put a lot of effort into incentivising them to bring along some of their previous colleagues with them before they even start on day one. They’re in the right mindset to be your biggest advocate. Maximise this untapped potential.
- Showcase employees that are making great referrals
People liked to be thanked especially if other people can see the thanks. It’s human nature. So why not publicly acknowledge those that are making the most and best referrals? It’s likely to make them even more proud to work for you. And it humanises the process so will make people remember you as a fab employer. This will also reinforce your Employer Brand, so it’s a win win! Before you know it you’ll have a huge talent pipeline ready to tap into at very low cost to you.
- Reward people for their efforts
If there’s nothing in it for me, why should I bother? So make sure you give financial incentives for people to refer their former colleagues, friends, family. Make it really clear what your employees can expect in return for their efforts. If your business can’t give actual financial rewards (though why wouldn’t you when it’s such a cost effective way to hire!?), then get creative again. Offer extra holidays as a reward, for example.
Implementing the above techniques is a sure fire way to springboard your RAF schemes whilst also reinforcing you as a great employer. What's not to love?