Firms are urged to use staff referral schemes

Companies should put more emphasis on employee referral schemes if they want
to attract staff and beat skill shortages, says a recruitment specialist.

Jeff Grout, ex-UK managing director of recruitment consultants Robert Half
International, said staff referrals are a very effective way of recruiting
staff and often provide a better standard of employee than applicants generated
through more traditional recruitment methods.

Speaking at the CIPD’s annual recruitment conference, he urged delegates to
look again at their own ‘bounty’ schemes and give them a higher profile in the
organisation: "Dust your referral scheme off tomorrow," he urged.

Grout told the conference that some companies meet up to half of their
recruitment needs through employee referral schemes.

But he said companies often make the mistake of not offering enough bounty
to encourage staff to suggest new employees.

He highlighted the case of an effective scheme run by a law firm which pays
staff £10,000if their employee referral leads to an appointment.

He said that companies should reward individuals for successful referrals by
paying 80 per cent of recruitment costs or 10 per cent of the starter’s salary.

Grout also encouraged HR professionals to keep in touch with good staff who
leave the company because they may be tempted to return in future and can be
depended upon to add value.

He suggested former staff are kept on the company newsletter mailing list
and are sent a personal note and a Christmas card each year.

"Remind them that there could be a job available for them. If they
leave, don’t let them leave psychologically," he added.

He told delegates that staff who return to an organisation are also good
ambassadors for the business and show that the grassis not always greener at
other companies.

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