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Employee referral program ideas

Need an employee referral program template and checklist so your employees can refer excellent potential candidates? Look no further.

27 May 2022 by Annie Symonds

Our employee referral program template will help you get started, so you don't need to put off trying to build a program to find exceptional new hires who will fit into the company culture with ease.

In this guide, we will share our 10 employee referral program tips to help you determine how you can get started. We'll also show you what is included in our Employee Referral Program Template so you can jump straight into it and customize the ready-to-edit template.

Upload your branding, tweak the text, add in your images if needed, and delete or add in any of our 30+ interactive lesson screens.

Why do you need an employee referral program?

All companies should have an employee referral program, especially because we're currently experiencing the Great Resignation. It can be challenging to see top talent acquisition right now, so you might need to reassess how you're marketing your job ads.

Think about your company culture and how you can attract similar people to the company by leveraging your current employees. While they might have highly skilled friends and would fit in with the company culture with ease, it's an easy win for all around.

Here are 10 employee referral program tips to help you get started.

1. Get hiring managers on board

Even though you'll love our Employee Referral Program Template, you'll need to get the managers on board who will be going through the hiring process. Getting them on board will help you build trust and encouragement to gain more referrals from employees.

2. Effective hiring process

Need to fill a role quickly? If you've not had much luck advertising a role on multiple job sites, it's worth staying closer to home. The easiest way to hire qualified candidates is by having an effective employee referral program in place.

Hiring referrals from existing employees will help determine if their friends or family will also be a good fit. We recommend keeping track of existing employees who send good candidates your way, so you know who to ask if and when needed. But, as long as you identify what makes a good candidate and what skills they need to possess, you can find new hires without doing too much work.

3. Save time

Save time on the recruitment & selection process by having a new employee referral program or updating your existing one. The hiring manager will save plenty of time selling the position to the candidate as the referrer will explain it to them before they apply.

4. And money

One of the most expensive ways to recruit is using external sources to help you find the best talent. You can minimize this expenditure simply by utilizing existing employees first before you think about having to spend money on a recruiter or advertising job sites.

5. Boost team morale

Boost team morale by helping your existing employees feel like they are proactively contributing to the hiring process. Put trust in your employees, which will help you build a successful employee referral program when referring candidates of high-quality talent. This will help you keep employee retention up when your employees feel valued and respected.

When you've built a successful employee referral program, the CEO will actively talk about it during internal talks or speeches to encourage more employee referrals.

6. Reward employees

It helps to include an incentive in your employee referral programs. Think about how you can measure and reward managers and employees when they've referred candidates. You might like to offer a referral bonus which could be anything from cash payment, more time off, or even a night's accommodation to spend the weekend away near their home.

Be careful with how you market the referral bonus, as you'll want to reach out to employees who are likely to know people with the skills you're looking for. You might like to think about the employee's location and whether it's an important factor, their role in the business, and social skills.

7. Increase brand image

When you've built successful employee referral programs, you'll be able to increase your brand image easily. This powerful tool can help you promote your brand by attracting top talent during the recruitment and selection process.

8. Continue to improve the process

By creating an employee referral program, you'll be able to continue to track and improve the process as time goes on. This will help hiring managers go through the referral process with ease when they can keep track of existing employees who have successfully referred new hires. You might like to try split testing to see if there are any differences with your referral program.

Use our Employee Referral Program Template, and you'll be able to track what your employees clicked on and how long they spent on each screen, which will help you determine how you can update your training. You'll also be able to ask questions and get feedback in the program when you use our Employee Referral Program Template, which will help collate it all together in one place.

9. Utilize social media

Job seekers are always actively looking for new opportunities via social media. If your company doesn't have its own recruitment social media channels, use the company channels to engage with team members to let them know when you're actively looking for new hires.

You might like to praise existing employees who have referred candidates successfully across your social media channels to give them an extra morale boost! When looking for referred candidates, make sure they know the employee and aren't someone they have never met on social media.

10. Education is key

Your employees might have some great friends or family they know would fit in with the company culture with ease; you'll need to teach your employees how to approach them best if they are already in another role at another company.

While the employee only needs to get the potential candidate to consider moving jobs, they need to understand the process to help someone make that decision. Factors such as salaries, work flexibility, time off, career progression, and company culture will come into play when talking to employee referrals.

What our Employee Referral Program Template looks like

Now you understand the importance of having a referral program; we'll jump in and show you what our Employee Referral Program Template looks like.

It is designed to just tweak it if needed, add your text, images and branding in, and you're good to go. You can also delete it, start from scratch or add or delete any slides from the template too. See it as your starting point to get your excellent employee referral program off the ground.


We always start our online training templates with a welcome screen so that your employees can get into the training with ease.

Reasons for our employee referral program

Our next screen highlights the reasons for our program with the ever-so-popular Wheel Screen. Employees can click on each section of the wheel to reveal the content for the reasons of the employee referral program.

Team culture

We're talking about team culture by using the Springy List Screen to help employees understand the type of people we're looking to the employee. Click on each title to reveal the bite-sized content.

When to refer

In the next screen, we talk about the important topic of when to refer candidates. By using the Slideshow Screen, we've highlighted the following:

  • Team members departure
  • Organic hiring
  • Advertised position

Writing a referral

When writing a referral, we ask you to send it through to our Head of People And Culture / HR Team. We've used the Accordion Screen to ask simple questions: How do you know them? etc.


The incentives screen is probably the screen most employees will be interested in seeing the most! We've used the Timeline Screen to highlight what the incentives could look like. This is an area you might like to think more about how you can entice staff members when looking to create employee referral programs in the future.


The all-important feedback screen comes at the end of the training by using the simple Image and Text Screen. You could ask your employees to email you for feedback or add a form to fill out if you're looking for ways to improve your employee referral program so you can avoid going to job boards instead.

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