Human Resources



Screening checklist for employee referrals

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An employee referral — when an employee refers a candidate for a job opportunity within the organisation —  has become one of the most effective recruitment trends as it is cost-effective, saves a lot of time and improves the quality of the hire.

In a recent survey, 82% of employers rated employee referrals as the best return on investment when compared with other recruitment methods.

Glassdoor recently gathered a check list HR professionals should be aware of when handling employee referrals:

1. Consider the referee’s reputation and brand within the company 

An essential principle is: Quality>quantity. If the employee keeps referring candidates who don’t fit in, you should stop taking his or her recommendations seriously because referrals should be saved for those that are truly outstanding. Employees should understand that the impact of their referrals before sending their resume to human resources. 

2. Assess how committed the referred employee is
Is he or she serious about working at the organisation? Take the time to gauge their level of interest in the role, and whether or not they are simply exploring options and curious, or if they are genuinely interested.

Ask them questions. For example, “What is it exactly about this role that interests you?” or “What caught your eye about this organisation?”

3. Is the referred employee familiar with the company culture and do you (the hiring manager) already know him or her?

If the employee is serious about his or her reference, the candidate should be already familiar with information that might not be obvious from an internet search: Company culture, vision, values, language and communication style, and even information about you.

4. Do the candidate’s character and previous experience align with the position requirements?

Again, before sending in that resume, the referee should have talked to the reference about career goals, and why this role would be of particular interest to him or her.

Hiring managers should sniff out when a person is just trying to get a job for the sake of a job, versus when they are truly interested in the responsibilities and projects.

5. Triple-check candidate’s experience or credentials 

Referees might be tempted to overhype their referral, both because they believe in them, and also because they want their referral to look good. Therefore, during initial interviews, triple-check the applicants’ resume to make sure there are no white lies or exaggerations.

6. Be concerned if the referee gets overly involved in the process 

Once the resume is in and the interview is set up, the referee should take a step back from the situation. A frequent check-up is a major red flag.

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