Referral Program Guide

Referrals can be a recruiting team's best friend and arch nemesis. Check out this template for driving a referral program.

A diverse pipeline of referrals is an important part of any recruiting teams sourcing mix. Creating the right incentive for employees to drive that balance is important. Below is a template guide to a Referral program. 

Referral Program Overview

tl;dr If you know someone who could be a fit for a position at [Company] and you’d be excited about them working here, send them our way!

Lets face it, our teammates love referring great people to join us… they also love the incentives. 

The Incentive

When one of your referrals accepts an offer to join [Company], you’re eligible for: Some Special Super Exclusive Swag Item, Cash Money ( this can vary based on promotion period or the role). 

Now we need an FAQ because trust me there will be questions!

Referral Program FAQ

How much and how many?

No, there is no limit to how many referrals you can be paid out for. Every successful referral will be paid a $2500 referral bonus. If your referral is successful hired into a position designated as high priority, we will extend an additional $1000 bonus.

Employee Eligibility

All [Company] full time employees are eligible to receive referral rewards Hiring managers won’t receive referral rewards for positions on their own teams. Recruiters are eligible for roles they aren’t working on. 

What positions are eligible Positions

All FT roles are eligible.

How Do I Make a Referral?

Submit Referrals (link to ATS or Form)

What Constitutes a Referral?

We want to make sure that everyone is contributing to bringing great people to our company. We consider a candidate to be your referral if: 

  • You are responsible for that person being in the pipeline
  • You influenced their decision to apply. 

Some examples that qualify as referrals:

  • You invite a friend to happy hour and he or she wants to apply so you submit them.
  • You meet someone at a party, talk about us, submit their name, and they’re interested in interviewing.
  • Someone reaches out to you to have a conversation about a role with us. You meet or chat with the person, and believe they would be a good fit for the role. You submit them!

Below are examples of a “lead” and we’d still like to know about them, but they won’t be eligible for a referral bonus.

  • You meet someone promising while representing us at a recruiting event.
  • A friend of yours is scheduled for a phone screen. If you did not do anything to get them to apply, that’s not a referral.
  • Someone reaches out to you on LinkedIn or other social media asking to be referred or about working here.
  • You find a promising Github profile and add it to ATS as a prospect.
  • A friend of a friend is introduced to you and your friend speaks highly of them. You don’t know them, but they sound great.

Please consider that any referral means that a member of the recruiting team will spend time on that candidate (ex. Recruiter outreach, Hiring Manager reviewing application, etc.). So, please don’t submit names of people that you don’t think would be a good fit, or that you personally would not be excited to have on the team. If you’re really excited about your referral joining the [Company] team, the more you do to engage them, the more likely they’ll be to enter our process.

What is the Time Limit for Referrals?

There is a 90 day time limit on a referral’s candidacy. More specifically, if after 90 days the referral isn’t active in the interview process you’ll no longer be eligible for the reward. If you take steps to re-engage the candidate or if a new roll opens and you resubmit the referral your 90 day eligibility window will re-open.

The Not So Fine Print

  • You get the awesome super exclusive swag item when your referral accepts an offer. Your referral bonus is paid at the three month anniversary of your referral’s employment. 
  • You must still be Team [Company] (that means employed here) at the referral’s milestones to receive the bonus.
  • Temporary, interns, contract, and former employees of [Company] cannot be submitted as referrals.
  • Prospective applicants who enter our pipeline at official recruiting events are not eligible as potential referrals (unless you brought them to the event).
  • The referral must be declared a referral at the beginning of the candidate’s application process.
  • When you submit a referral, it must be attached to a specific role (Ex. I’m referring Jane for a swe position). If your referral ends up getting hired for a different role, you are still eligible for the rewards.
  • Only 1 employee can receive referral rewards for a given hire. If after 60 days of submitting a candidate, the candidate is no longer active in the interview process another employee may submit the same referee. 
  • All candidates will be evaluated based on our standard hiring procedures.
  • Disputes and judgement calls about the referral program will be resolved at the sole discretion of the Head of Talent.

Tracking Referrals

We’ll let you know if we are moving forward with a referral post Recruiter screen and if we will be extending an offer.  Please don’t ask for updates, we can’t give them. 

More FAQs:

If we already had someone’s name, but that person never responded to our outreach and never applied for a role, and I get them interested, can I count it as a referral?

Yes, if the prospect has never applied to a job at [Company], and has been unresponsive for 6 or more months, then you can consider them a referral if you reactivate their interest.

Is all of this subject to change at any time, as we assess the success of the referral program and quality of candidates?

Yes, of course.

What if there’s something ambiguous in this policy?

The recruiting team (you can also reference an individual on the team such as the Head of Talent or teammate responsible for managing the program) will retain sole and final judgement, which we will exercise in keeping with the spirit of the rewards programs.

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