Employee referral programs: Highly qualified new hires who stick around

By Mark Laurie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/05/2003

Word-of-mouth, or employee referral, can be the most effective means of attracting new, qualified recruits. It is also one of the most efficient, because candidates who learn about a company through an existing employee tend to be a better fit, and to stay with the company longer.

There are many reasons for this. First, the employee knows a great deal about the person (usually a friend) he is referring. The employee can vouch for the person’s character, often a difficult evaluation to make during a half-hour interview.

Second, because the candidate will have been briefed about the company by the existing employee, possible culture clashes can be avoided. The existing employee will represent the culture of the firm, and will therefore have more accurate expectations right from the start.