If you’ve got your referral program up and running, you’re probably eager to start seeing results like faster hiring times, higher quality candidates, and the many other benefits that come with referrals. But how do you know if your program is delivering desirable results?

Here are a few tips for determining your program’s success and learning what you can do to make it even better.  

Start with measurable goals

First, consider what you want your new program to accomplish. Think about where your current methods fall short and what improvements a solid referral program could bring to the game.

Here are a few examples of measurable goals if you’re just starting out:

  • Bring in an additional X qualified candidates a month
  • Increase program participation by X%
  • Reduce turnover rates by X% / improve retention rates by X%
  • Cut down the time from job posting to onboarding by X days

Track the ROI of your referral program

When it comes to assessing the ROI of various sourcing streams, many staffing firms fall into the trap of believing how things seem. They may know they’re getting tons of leads from Facebook or that their new web application is blowing up. But when it comes to nailing down the source of the candidates signing those contracts, things can get a little murky.

To understand how your referral program is performing, be sure to track the ROI closely:

  • Track each referral from the time a brand ambassador puts them in touch with your company to when they sign a contract.
  • Monitor how many placements you get from referrals compared to other sources.
  • Compare the cost-per-placement between referrals and traditional job boards.
  • Check the retention and quality of the hires from referrals compared to other sources.
  • Look at how viral your referral program is (or how many referred candidates refer additional candidates).

Automated referral management can help you capture some of this data without adding more work for your recruiters. 

Gather feedback

Remember those goals you set at the start of your program? Now it’s time to gauge your success and look for ways to improve.

Be sure to ask for feedback and ideas from all program users — from your recruiters, brand ambassadors, candidates, etc. This will give you a look at the program from all angles to figure out what’s working well and what you might change to deliver a better experience.

If you’re having trouble reaching your goals or just need more guidance on building an effective referral program, check out our free Referral Program Best Practices & Benchmarks eBook.