It’s no secret that employee referrals are widely considered among the top talent acquisition sources for quality employees. In fact, 88 percent of employers rate referrals as the No. 1 source for quality hires, delivering greater productivity, longer tenures and increased value to the organization. After all, who is better suited to identify the ideal additions to your workforce than those individuals who live your culture, understand what it takes to be successful in your company and drive the overall performance of your organization? Your employees.

Despite the proven efficacy of employee referrals in driving quality hiring, over 80 percent of recruiters are actually dissatisfied with the performance of their employee referral program.

This issue in how an employee referral platform drives talent acquisition often lies in the design and development of the employee referral technology rather than the organizations workforce. While it is easy to point to employee apathy as the main hinderance to the efficacy of employment referrals, more than not, the lack of overall usability and intuitive tools designed for the employees are to blame.

Through the wide array of discussions Aliro, a leading provider of advanced employee referral solutions, has with Human Resource and Talent Acquisition teams and Recruiters, there are often five general areas that mitigate the performance of employee referrals. Here’s a quick review of them.


While many employee referral platforms will help a company initially introduce the program to its workforce employees, it’s more often than not a ‘one and done’ approach. This typically delivers in an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ where the employee doesn’t have the opportunity to use the program in its early stages and simply forgets about its existence which impacts adoption and hence overall performance is helping to drive talent acquisition.

The Solution

Ongoing, integrated, target communications tailored to the individual employee not only help generate interest and adoption in the program but also communication hiring opportunities that align with the individual employee’s network. This is a fundamental component of organizations who have high-performing employee referrals as a driver for their hiring.


Too many employee referral programs are arduous and “clunky” for the employee to engage, which not only impacts the volume of referrals, but also makes them challenging to manage for the Recruiting team. The complexity tends to also slow down the referral process resulting in frustration for both candidates and their referrers.

The Solution

Leveraging evolving technology including mobile and social while focusing the design of the referral platform on the employee drives usability and enhances adoption due the intuitive, simplistic approach of the technology. Advanced technology also speeds up and compresses both the referral and hiring processes.


Often described as a “black hole” by employees, referral programs too often lack visibility and clarity for referring employees and the referred candidates. This also results in frustration and can also add unnecessary burdens to the Human Resource team as employees attempt to find out the current state of referrals they have made for their own insight and to pass onto their connection. Also, the lack of engagement also can cause result in an employee referral program “dying on the vine” as interest quickly diminishes across the workforce.

The Solution

Engaging employees with updates both on their referrals as well as other successful referrals across the organization delivers transparency and sparks excitement across the employee base. Along with this, gamification provides a fun, competitive way to drive even more referrals and enhance the company’s hiring quality.


While referral incentives would seemingly encourage employees to participate in an organization’s referral program, the payment of referral bonuses is often slow given the management complexity between the Human Resources and Payroll teams. And more often than not these payments are “invisible,” getting “hidden” in the employee’s paycheck.

The Solution

Tracking and delivering referral bonuses through advanced technology not only provides more immediate referral bonus delivery, but also can make these payments very visible to the individual by taking it out of the paycheck and delivering it across other payments means like PayPal.


The traditional premise of a referral program is one dimensional; leveraging only the company’s employee workforce as a source for referral candidates. This tends to no only be gaiting in the finding referrals, but also limiting to the potential that the employee referral program can deliver to the company.

The Solution

Today, leading companies are leveraging advanced employee referral technology that not only engages their internal workforce employees as candidate referral sources, but also external sources including candidate referral databases and affinity groups to widely extend the reach for perspective referrals and quality hires.

The Bottom Line

Unlocking the No. 1 source for quality hires requires advanced technology and evolving solutions that drive communications and engagement, enhance usability for referrers and candidates and extend the reach of the program.

Think your employee referral program can be boosted in one or more of these areas? Let us conduct a complimentary review to identify just where your referrals are falling short. Contact us at