Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quick Study (2): Employee Feedback on Referrals

Why would I refer those guys?
A couple weeks ago in a blog post entitled Quick Study Finds 3 Reasons Employees Don’t Refer, I highlighted the reasons employees gave for why they were reluctant to provide referrals. I mentioned in that post that I would share some of the other results as well. So here you go:

First some quick data points:
  • 170 employees were asked to participate in a new referral program
  • 24% agreed to participate (41 employees)
  • 6 jobs were posted – ranging from a help desk position to marketing to very technical
  • 44 names were referred during the 5 week test
  • Number of referrals per job ranged from a low of 4 to a high of 13
  • The most referrals was for a marketing position, the least was for an HR position (go figure!)

When employees from the tests were interviewed, here was some of the key feedback:
  • It’s Personal: Referrals are so personal. I had a hard time referring people unless I knew both the company and the person I was referring really fit perfectly, even though I knew that some people I rejected might have been OK.
  • It’s a Noisy World: Even though this new tool was very easy to use and minimized my time, I am still just too distracted with so many other things during the day.
  • What’s It All About: Our Company seems to hype referrals a couple times a year. A quick email and a mention at the company meeting just isn't enough to get my attention.
  • Incentives Get Attention: The odds that I will ever see that $1,000 referral bonus seem remote (I don’t play Lotto) can there be other incentives for me to spend time on this?
  • It’s My Network: I am reluctant to send too many referrals onto HR. What are they doing with the names? Will they spam my friends? This is my network of friends – leave them alone!
  • Is Anybody There: I hate sending on a name and never hearing anything back. It’s just rude and turns me off!
And the last main bit of feedback:
  • I Wouldn't Wish This on My Best Friend: It is all about the strength of the culture. I like working here, but I am not sure I would recommend this place to someone else. It’s a job, but nothing to brag about.

What are your thoughts about these results? Do you experience some of this in your referral programs?