Tips for Running an Award-Winning Employee Referral Program

The Talent Team at EPAM Systems, a global software engineering company, recently won the Silver Award for the Best Recruitment Referral System category at the 2023 Employee Experience Awards (EXA). So, what does it take to run an award-winning Employee Referral Program?

EPAM Systems runs two separate referral programs for employees – an internal program and an affiliate/social media program – with different rewards assigned to each campaign. Additionally, employees can participate in special limited-period campaigns aligned with business needs, where they have the opportunity to earn additional prizes on top of the usual rewards they receive from the internal referral program.Olga Barrett

Olga Barrett, Head of Talent Acquisition APAC at EPAM Systems, emphasises that diversifying rewards can be a key element in incentivising people to make referrals, taking into consideration the type of role and geography involved.

“Individual TA leaders decide which rewards to apply to specific roles. It could be a car, a staycation, or a virtual reality set – whatever suits the particular country or audience.”

Olga also highlights the importance of understanding what motivates employees. With this in mind, the TA Team have introduced gamification into the referral program through a points system. Referrers earn points at various stages of the referral process, which they can then use to log into an online portal and choose their reward from a variety of products, such as an Apple Watch, AirPods, a Nintendo Switch, or other types of swag.

The effort to motivate employees has proven successful, with referrals increasing by 51.2% from 2021 to 2022. The total percentage of offers from referrals accounted for an average of 23.9% of hires across all APAC in 2022, notably rising to 44% for Vietnam.

During the ATC webinar “Successful Employee Referral Programs”, audience members also shared stories about how they rewarded referrals with Uber vouchers or points that can be used on an internal platform and redeemed for restaurant vouchers.

If you want to learn more about EPAM’s Employee Referral Program, re-watch the webinar “Successful Employee Referral Programs” below:

Feature image: The EPAM Systems Talent Acquisition Team at the 2023 Employee Experience Awards. Image supplied by EPAM.

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