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Must Have Features for Your Employee Referral Software

employee referral software features

When evaluating your different employee referral software platforms you may find that there is a lot of overlap in features, but unfortunately, they don’t all overlap on the features that matter most. While every feature is important, the list below includes features that are critical for success.

First, let’s define “success” so we can highlight the features that impact this most. When we are planning new customer rollouts we are measuring their success in three ways: employee adoption, number of accepted referrals, and % of new hires sourced from employee referrals.

These features directly impact one, or all, of these three success measurements!

Mobile Notifications and Referrals

A big reason why your employee referral policy isn’t effective without a program in place is that it is cumbersome for employees to participate in. If employees are required to be at their computer to see open positions and to make referrals, then you’re likely to not have successful participation and adoption.

Your employee referral software should have full employee mobile access for employees. Specifically, there are three mobile features that will significantly impact your success:

  1. Native Mobile App – This allows employees to get in and out with a simple tap. They can leave it installed and they don’t have to remember how to access the employee referral software even after they haven’t made a referral in a few months.
  2. Push Notifications – Employees are not spending the entire day working on referrals. You need to keep them in the loop on open positions without interrupting their day job.
  3. Mobile Referrals – At work, at dinner, on vacation – employees need to be able to make a referral from any location with ease. They should be able to make a referral in under 30 seconds direct on their phone!

Don’t Replace Your Applicant Tracking System, Integrate With It

Sure there are features in your ATS to allow referrals, but they are cumbersome and don’t engage the employees. At the same time, your employee referral software shouldn’t replace your ATS. Your employee referral software’s job is to help find candidates and get them to apply. When referrals are made the candidate should be driven to apply as they normally would, allowing you to track all sourced candidates in your ATS!

Single Sign-On

You have hundreds/thousands of employees using a lot of different tools. The last thing they need is to sign into another application to do something that isn’t directly related to their job. If this is the case, you’re fighting an uphill battle on all three of the success areas. Your employee referral software should allow employees (when possible) to use their existing username and password, making it easier to adopt in the beginning and easier to use in the future.

Display Your Policy 

Your employee referral policy may sound simple on the surface, but most likely there are a lot of stipulations. Do all of the positions have the same bonus? Are there any groups of people that cannot make referrals? When is the bonus paid? What if the candidate leaves the company after 30 days? You need to make sure you have your policy well documented and displayed to your employees every time they participate in recruitment.

Bonus Tracking

This is obvious, but it isn’t bonus tracking for you – it’s bonus tracking for your employees. Traditional employee referral programs fail because they don’t keep your employees in the loop. After a referral is made communication can be lacking and leaving everyone out of the loop on the status of the candidate and the bonus. Employee referral software easily solves this problem when the status of the referral and the bonus is communicated clearly to the employee.


When selecting an employee referral software platform you should take extra time to make sure these features are included and that your success criteria are clearly defined. Making sure you have everything you need to be successful will help you make the biggest splash with employees and drive the best possible results!


Michael Stafiej

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