Referral bonus scheme nets high-calibre staff

A staff referral scheme has played an important role in helping the Bank of
Scotland recruit 1,000 new staff over the past seven months.

The firm, which merged with Halifax last year and is now part of HBOS plc,
is two-thirds of the way towards its target of recruiting 1,500 new staff to
its business banking division.

Kevin Gillett, director of recruitment for Bank of Scotland, told Personnel
Today its recruit and reward scheme, which gives staff a cash incentive to
recommend potential recruits, has proved extremely effective.

He said: "The recruitment drive provided us with an opportunity to
modernise the scheme, so we raised the reward from £500 to £1,000 but we will
pay up to £5,000 to people who bring multiple people across."

Gillett believes that up to 20 per cent of the bank’s 220 new business
development specialists were employed through recruit and reward. For junior
support roles he estimates the figure could be as high as 50 per cent.

He said the scheme has proved more cost effective than using headhunters and
recruitment agencies, which the company is also utilising for the push.

He said: "It actually offers a cost saving for us. We also find the
quality of people we recruit through the reward scheme is quite a bit higher
than people introduced via other recruitment methods."

Gillett said the initiative has become increasingly popular as new people
joining the company from rival banks have recommended their former colleagues.

Delegates at the CIPD’s annual recruitment conference last month were urged
to put more emphasis on staff referrals by Jeff Grout, former UK managing
director of recruitment consultants Robert Half International.

By Ben Willmott

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