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Your employees are exceptionally talented, hardworking individuals — and so are many people in their networks. When hiring new team members, you strive to attract candidates who can keep pace with these outstanding staffers, but top talent is hard to track down. One of the best places to find new hires who exceed your expectations is through your very own employees.

In total, 78% of quality new hires come from employee referrals, according to the 2015 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, so if you’re not taking advantage of this opportunity to tap into the networks of your staffers, you’re missing out. Follow these five steps to establish an effective employee referral program that can make your team stronger than ever.

  1. Explain the Value of Employee Referrals to Your Staff

Engaged employees are passionate about their jobs and want to do anything in their power to help the company thrive. Inspire your team to participate in the program by explaining the value referred employees can bring to the organization as a whole — lower levels of turnover, higher profits and a better work environment.

  1. Focus on Hard-to-Fill Positions

Some jobs are much easier to find quality candidates for than others, so create a stronger push for these more challenging roles. Work extra hard to get employee referrals for these positions by sending your team an email with information about these jobs and simply being honest that you really need their help because these positions are exceptionally difficult to fill.

  1. Simplify the Referral Process

If referring candidates is a lengthy, time-consuming process, most employees won’t be willing to do it twice. Make it easy by providing staffers with resources to send their contacts about what it’s like to work at your organization, a link to the online application and a method to track a referred candidate’s status.

  1. Reward People for Referring Selected Candidates

Some employees won’t hesitate to offer up a steady stream of referrals, but most need a little extra push. Encourage your team to really comb through their networks and put some serious thought into recommendations by offering rewards for successful candidates. Specific prizes can vary according to your budget, but may involve a monetary reward to anyone who refers a candidate who is hired and stays with your company for at least six months.

  1. Show Gratitude to Your Team for Their Efforts

When people take the time to reach out to their networks on behalf of your organization, you need to acknowledge their efforts. Sincerely thank each person who recommends a candidate — even those who don’t make it past the screening process — and publically commend those responsible for bringing in a new hire.

Need a little help finding top talent to join your team? Contact PrideStaff North Dallas. Our firm provides direct recruiting, temp-to-hire and temporary staffing for a wide variety of industries, including administration, customer service, information technology, finance, legal support, healthcare, and production & distribution.