Money Can’t Buy You Love – or Great Employees

Money Can’t Buy You Love – or Great Employees

With a job market that is historically tight, more companies are turning to employee referral programs to widen the candidate pool. In theory, it sounds great: entice a friend or colleague to join the team, and you’ll be rewarded with cold, hard cash. In reality, it’s far more complicated, and there’s no guarantee it will pay off – either literally or figuratively.

Why not? Because money alone is not enough; in fact, it’s only one piece of an effective employee referral program.

Whether your company is seeking to implement a program, or looking at boosting existing rewards to sweeten the incentive, keep this in mind: if there are underlying problems within the company that need to be resolved, an employee referral program won’t fix them. Instead, a closer look at what’s really happening is in order.

Start by assessing the company culture. It’s vital to understand and promote what employees like about the company – from benefits and perks to collaboration and flexibility – while also addressing the areas that are perceived as negative. When those steps are taken, and a positive, supportive culture is developed, employees become engaged and happy with their workplace. Even better, they become brand ambassadors, willing to encourage others to join them, either with or without an incentive.

Throughout this process, it’s critical for management to be on the same page as employees. Keep in mind, if the staff doesn’t feel good about the company, no amount of money will inspire them to refer others to work there – and worse, they are also in danger of leaving.

Once culture has been addressed, it’s essential to communicate about the employee referral program on a consistent basis. Too often, employers discuss it at the time a new employee is hired, but don’t continue to remind them. Keep it top of mind so employees can take advantage of what should be a win-win recruiting tool.

Lastly, put some thought into the structure of your employee referral program. Is money the best motivator? Are there other creative – and motivating – rewards, such as time off, a trip, or a year’s worth of gas, groceries and/or sports, concert or theater tickets? The right incentives could also offer an added benefit of helping to build a more diverse and inclusive culture.

It seems counterintuitive, but a successful employee referral program is typically not about the money. It’s about creating a positive employment culture – one that empowers satisfied employees to promote your company to others as a great place to work. In the end, that’s something money just can’t buy.

Want to take a deeper dive into your company culture and recruiting effectiveness? Let’s talk, no strings attached! Connect with me!

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.

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