Why Do You Need an Employee Referral Platform?

Jul 17, 2019

Even companies that have well-established applicant tracking systems may not be getting the most bang for the buck when it comes to employee referrals because they don’t have dedicated employee referral software. So what does employee referral software do? There are three main components to an effective employee referral platform:

  1. Keep track of jobs, referral candidates, hires, and referrers
  2. Provide tools for employees to make referrals
  3. Facilitate engagement with employees

Companies that use an applicant tracking system (ATS) may already have some way of keeping track of candidates that came via referral. However, in many cases, this data is only gathered when a candidate applies for a job via a more traditional route (i.e., they click on the box on an online application).

In a traditional system, you never really know when your employees make a referral! You only have data about whether candidates say they have been referred. By contrast, a dedicated employee referral program lets you keep track of (and incentivize) referrals themselves (instead of just applications that come from referrals). This way, an employee referral program helps you track not only the number of candidates coming from referrals but which of your employees are your most active (and successful) referrers.

Many companies will wait 90 days before paying out the referral bonus. Keeping track of who needs to be paid and when the bonus is due can be a tedious task if it is done manually. When you also need to verify continued employment for the referral hire and the referring employee the problem is only compounded. Employee referral programs that are automated will organize, track, and report all of this information to payroll ensuring that all bonuses are paid in a timely manner. Automating the program reduces administration time and saves your company money.


Referral Tools
Another thing that may be missing from an applicant tracking system is the ability to provide employees with streamlined tools for making referrals. For example, a dedicated employee referral platform provides a customized dashboard for each employee that shows which jobs are available. This list can be sorted based on attributes of the employee such as location and job title.

When the employee wants to make a referral, the system can provide customized social media links that they can send to their friends. They can also opt-in for Auto-Share which posts job openings to their social media automatically. Auto-Share saves them time as they “set it and forget it.” If someone clicks on the link, it automatically creates a referral in the system.

Alternatively, an employee can directly make a referral by entering the information of the potential candidate. LinkedIn Recommendations help the employee see if they know anybody in IT, Sales, etc as to assist them in inviting talent to take a look at the company

Once an employee makes a referral, the system can then provide them with information that allows them to see the progress of the candidate. This can give your employees more confidence that their referrals are not being “lost in the system”.

Successful employee referral programs creatively engage their employees on a regular basis to keep referrals top of mind. Whether you choose to communicate with them via email or text a dedicated employee referral system will expedite the process. Email campaigns are personalized so that each recipient will see relevant jobs that are close to their location. The email also gives updates on past referrals so you know where they are in the process. A library of creative referral templates helps keep things fresh so employees are not seeing the same emails over and over again.


Having a dedicated employee referral platform is the best way to promote, collect, and manage referrals.

  • Customized communication gives each email a personal touch and drives more engagement.
  • Making a referral is simple with the streamlined referral tools.
  • Tracking and paying referrals is easier when all the necessary information is collected by the reporting tools.

If you are still using your ATS or spreadsheets to track referrals should look into using a dedicated employee referral platform like EmployeeReferrals.com.