Template: How to Hire Like Google (Hint: Their Secret is Employee Referrals)

A recent report reveals that Google receives more than 2 million applications every year. This statistic may lead you to believe that this tech giant has no trouble finding top talent - but you would be wrong. Despite this large number of annual applicants, Google still struggles to identify and attract the high-quality candidates they need.

Like many companies, however, Google understands the power of employee referrals. Google knows a strong employee referral program can boost the quality-of-hire, speed up new hire assimilation, and improve retention rates company-wide. With this much power to drive better hiring results, Google set out to revamp its current employee referral program.

What Didn't Work: Doubling Referral Bonuses

Google’s first step was to double its referral bonus from $2,000 to $4,000. The company hoped that the larger incentive would entice more employees to make referrals. Unfortunately, this strategy did not work. It turns out that money was not a motivator for their employees.

What Worked: Creating a Culture of Referrals

HR leaders at Google had to ask themselves questions like: Can employees submit generic referrals by dropping names, emails, and resumes? Was their current referral process too complex? Were they asking their employees the right questions?

The tech giant decided that their referral program should start during the onboarding process. They started the practice of asking every new hire “Who is the best (salespersons, engineer, marketing manager, etc.) you have ever worked for?” and “Who are 5-10 people you would want to work with again?” Google couldn’t ignore their existing workforce, so they ask their current workers to look through their networks and identify professionals that would be a good match for Google.

Google then used this list of prospective referrals to start proactively sourcing the highest qualities referrals.

The Results: Referrals Prove Successful

Google’s new employee referral strategy proved successful. The company saw an increase of 33 percent in employee referrals. Google learned that a strong employee referral program should never be only about money. Instead, it needed to modernize their referral program to make it easier for their workers to share referrals, engage better with both new and current employees, and start asking the right questions.

You don’t have to be a tech giant like Google or offer high referral bonuses that your company can’t budget in order to build a strong employee referral program. You just need to modernize your current referral program by offering an easy-to-use referral platform and enhance engagement with your workers by asking the right questions.

Build your own effective employee referral program by using one of these comprehensive Pre-Built Employee Referral Program Templates created by EmployUs.