How To Leverage Your Employee Referral Networks To Access Top Talent

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 09th December 2021

Referral networks are a fantastic way for any business to gain access to top talent. After all, as with all aspects of life, it’s most often not what you know but who you know. 

The employees who work for your company each have a personal network of their own. This includes friends, family, prior employers and colleagues, as well as industry acquaintances. The same goes for your alumni. 

The question is, are you leveraging these extensive networks to recruit top talent for your business? If not, you are missing out on a vital opportunity to gain access to exceptional candidates who might not be reachable through conventional means. 

Here are a few ways in which you can tap into employee referral networks to access top talent in 2021 and beyond: 

Five Ways To Build Employee Referral Networks

1. Formalize Your Internal Referral Program

It’s one thing to encourage your employees to refer their friends and acquaintances when you have a job opening. It’s quite another to have a formalized internal referral program in place. When you put some resources towards creating a platform where employees can make recommendations and introductions, it streamlines the whole process. 

2. Put Incentives In Place

Alumni Incentives For Referring Candidates

Have you ever considered incentivizing your employees and alumni to refer potential hires? Sure, highly engaged employees want their businesses to succeed and will bring A-players to the table whenever they can. However, if you can offer a carrot or two to inspire proactivity in this area, do so! 

Incentives can be in the form of time off, online vouchers, or cold, hard cash – whatever best suits your organization. 

3. Bring Your Alumni Into the Fold

Your alumni are in a fantastic position to refer candidates for job openings at your company. They know your culture, so they understand what type of personality it takes to succeed within that framework. They are also outside the immediate sphere of influence, so they don’t have to feel threatened by someone more senior in a given industry. 

Plus, alumni can become boomerang hires later along the line! As such, it makes a lot of sense to stay in touch and keep former employees informed of job openings and talent gaps. 

4. Consider Your Employer Brand

What’s the word on the street about your company? Do you offer fair employment terms, work-life balance and a positive culture? Or are people advising their friends not to apply because the work environment is too hectic and the management style is toxic? 

The only way to know is to keep tabs on your employer. To do this, get a member of your team to gather sentiments from job sites, industry forums, and platforms like Glassdoor, etc. 

Final Thoughts

Referral networks can supercharge talent funnels from the inside out. Start by formalizing your internal referral program and putting incentives in place. Then, bring your alumni into the fold, and consider your employee brand from all angles. And finally, watch the magic happen whilst your community grows as a result of including and supporting your employees and alumni!