Why (And How!) Top Talent Can Be a Great Referral Source

mployee referral programs have exploded in recent years, becoming one of the top ways in which companies find new people. Although employee referrals offer a multitude of benefits, focusing your efforts on encouraging top talent to contribute their share of referrals offers a much greater return on investment than asking for referrals indiscriminately. Here’s why.

Why You Should Turn to Top Talent for Referrals

Your key players are “key” for a reason – likely, for dozens of reasons. Whether they’re rising stars or established professionals, they’re the best people you have. They’re also your best source for referrals, for the following reasons:

  • Like-minded professionals flock together. Top talent reaches the top by being passionate about what they do. Passionate people love to work with other passionate people – connecting to like-minded individuals drives their creativity and enjoyment of their work. Chances are good that your top talent knows other top players in the field and can quickly identify promising newcomers.
  • Reaching the “top” is about culture as well as skill. If your top talent is thriving in your company, chances are good that it’s because these employees mesh well with your company culture. Since like-minded people tend to enjoy one another’s company, chances are good that your best employees’ best referrals will be people who fit well into your company’s culture as well.
  • Top employees know how to do the job well. This means they know what it takes to do the job well – positioning them to recognize when a particular person is likely to do well in the same job.

How to Encourage Top Talent to Refer Qualified Applicants

Many companies find that the ROI for referrals made by top talent is much higher than the return on referrals made by other employees. With an offering like this on the table, it only makes sense to encourage top talent to make referrals whenever they feel they can name a qualified candidate. Here’s how:

  • Make it easy. An automated, simple referral system makes it easy for busy employees to turn a passing “I think ____ would do well in that role” into a bona fide referral. Try putting your referral program online to make it even easier for top talent to make referrals “on the go.”
  • Go to social media. By posting job openings on social media sites, you allow your employees to share recommended positions with colleagues with a single click. This method expands the audience of potential applicants while allowing promising individuals to be “singled out” for attention from a colleague they know and trust.
  • Move quickly. When the employee referral process drags or employees and candidates are not kept up to date on the hiring process, employees quickly lose faith in the referral program – and top candidates might accept a job offer elsewhere in the meantime. Create a realistic, transparent timetable for responding to employee referrals and stick to it.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced staffing partners can help you diversify your methods for finding top talent, improving your chances of landing the best people for your organization. Contact us today to learn more.

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