Referral Recruitment Program

Best practice: Accenture referral program

The deployment of existing staff to recruit new employees is, if properly implemented, a powerful recruitment tool. Especially in a tight labour market, where recruitment of new employees is difficult and costly. Accenture in The Netherlands rewarded its employees for providing candidates in the past. However, this was poorly communicated and inconsistently implemented. This left a large untapped potential.

With the enormous rise of social networking sites Accenture saw the opportunity to boost its employees as the single largest source of new talent. Accenture developed a complete referral concept fot his purpose. Central to this is an online platform for all employees where they find tools to deploy its network. The individual and overall results are easy to follow here and with a single campaign and platform this network has been activated.

Referral is now one of Accenture’s main recruitment sources: one third of all new employees come in through referral. This is a (formerly) huge cost saving of recruitment and selection agencies. In addition, it has positive effects on job satisfaction and commitment of old and new employees. The concept is nowadays regarded as best practice by Accenture and is rolled out worldwide. [Source: Spin Awards]

A few facts and figures:

  • 33% of all new employees in The Netherlands are recruited through the Employee Referral Programme (ERP). This was 14%! (total recruitment in 2008 was 1000 hires)
  • Cost of EURO 600,000 in 3 months
  • 80% of employees open the email from the ERP campaign. By comparison, 50% open the email from the Managing Director
  • From 20% to 99% awareness of ERP (campaign, URL, conditions)
  • # 1 source of candidates, both quality and quantity

The key success factors are:

  1. V.I.P. status; Employee Referrals are given the highest priority during the recruitment process.
  2. Good administration of referrals makes the difference!
  3. Active feedback to individual employees through special website including status updates throughout the entire selection process.
  4. Smart bonus scheme instead of higher bonuses.
  5. 3 months ongoing cross media campaigns with a dedicated website
  6. Anyone can submit referrals. There are NO exceptions for (senior) management, HR and Recruiters.
  7. Both direct applications and open applications are accepted.

Disclaimer: Recruit2 was not involved in this campaign for Accenture. It serves to illustrate the impact that a new generation of recruitment referral programs can have on your organisation.


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