Let’s all work hard, not smart. Oh wait, I think it’s the other way around. When we talk about referrals, what we are talking about is the concept of working smart and a little less hard. Every firm understands the benefits of referrals; however, the reality is that large percentages of firms wing it when it comes to referrals.

Everyone needs to create an effective staffing firm referral program that works for their firm monetarily, but the key to the referral program is remembering a few important points. The first point is why consultants and employees make referrals.

staffing firm referral program

Appreciation, Altruism and Reward
Several years ago, we worked with consultants and internal employees to ask just that question and what we got was both surprising and not. The number one reason that internal employees and consultants make referrals according to these groups was altruism. They wanted to do something nice for someone they know and a staffing firm they respect. However, money or reward followed right behind that and when asked if you drop the reward and simply focus on the fact of the good deed, would they continue referring and the answer was a resounding “No”.

There are three primary factors in creating a solid referral. Altruism, giving them the opportunity to do a good deed, reward, financial or otherwise, and then one of the most enlightening points is that they wanted appreciation.

Promote, Promote, Promote
So now you have created your referral program, but does anyone know about it? Staffing Firm Referral programs that are on an “ask and you will receive” schedule generally do not create very many referrals. Your referral program needs to be on your website easily findable by consultants. Your referral program needs to be part of your outbound communication to consultants. Your referral program needs to be commonly discussed by your recruiting team to your consultants. Include it in your social media, include it anywhere that brings value; your outlook signature etc. Promote, Promote, Promote.

Internal Employees/Consultants/Business
Most companies think of a referral program as strictly trying to attract staffing candidates, but the reality is how many firms are looking for quality sales people, quality recruiters and yes, even additional business. Staffing firm referral programs should be utilized in all three of these capacities. Promote it to your consultants to get more candidates. Promote it when they hear about business opportunities that they think of you and use the referral program. And promote it to your internal teams, all of them, including back office, to drive new hires internally. Please keep in mind consultants meet great sales people and recruiters in our industry every single day and many of them will make referrals and even talk to the person and to say, “Go to “X,Y,Z” firm.”

Effective staffing firm referral programs are quite simply one of the smartest ways to drive new applicant and candidates but you need to focus on appreciate, altruism and reward then promote the heck out of it and never forget it is for internal employees, consultants and to drive business. I can’t wait to hear your stories about how well you’ve done with referral programs but following these basic rules.S.J.Hemley Marketing

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.