Four Reasons Why an Employee Referral Program Results in the Best Staff

Friends work better together.

A statement of the obvious? Yes, but now there’s new proof that backs up what we’ve always known. And, it’s yet another great reason to use an employee referral program when hiring for your chiropractic practice.

Results from a new Ohio State University study show that workplace teams perform better when they include friends. According to the study, “…friendship groups had a clear performance advantage, whether the tasks required brawn or brains.The advantage was found in all age groups.”

It makes perfect sense – when people know each other, they can determine how best to share and tackle tasks. Who better to know your strengths and weaknesses than a friend?

Beyond efficiency and productivity, there’s the morale and work environment boost for your staff. That ‘happy vibe’ makes for getting more done, in a better way. It also translates into what patients see and feel when they walk through the door of your practice.

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What’s the best way for businesses to build a cohesive team comprised of friends who work well together? Using existing staff as a resource for hiring recommendations is a pretty sure bet.

While employers may not yet be aware of the newly reported benefits of friends working together, it seems that the popularity of employee referral programs has pretty much taken into account the ‘friendship factor’ anyway.

According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management article, “Employee referrals continue to be employers’ top source of hires, delivering more than 30 percent of all hires in 2016.”

This makes perfect sense when you consider what we’ve mentioned on the beauty of friends in the workplace, in addition to the many advantages of pulling from employees’ recommendations for hiring.

Here’s why it pays to use an employee referral program when hiring for your chiropractic business:

1. Reduced cost and time to hire:

A recent Human Capital Benchmarking Study published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that the average cost per hire is $4,129, and the time it takes to hire a qualified candidate is an average of 42 days.

Asking your employees for referrals via word-of-mouth with family and friends, and sharing on social media can cut down on both these numbers. With a referral program, you’ll end up paying the cost of whatever incentive you offer, and maybe the cost to take your job candidate to coffee or lunch as part of the interview — a lot less than the average $4,000 price tag stated above.

An open position in your office will get attention and be promoted more quickly through existing staff, especially if you already have a team of friends working together as a result of the employee referral program you have in place.

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2. Higher quality candidate

This one is twofold. First, candidate targeting will be more finely-tuned since your existing staff knows through experience what the work environment is like, as well as the skills and temperament needed to be successful. Second, your employees won’t want to suggest someone who would reflect badly on them or disrupt the office vibe that exists at your practice. The last thing they want is to be negatively impacted by recommending someone who won’t mesh well with the team.

3. Better retention rate

It stands to reason — hire a high-quality candidate who knows (via the referral) the inside scoop about the job and your practice before they even interview, and they’re likely to stick around.

According to Recruiter.com, people hired through an employee referral program have a retention rate of 46% versus 33% for those hired through a career site. That’s a 21% difference.

4. Shorter training

Training takes time and money. Neither the person conducting the training, nor the trainee are at their most efficient while onboarding and training are taking place.

Reduced training time is another great benefit of hiring through an employee referral program, as summarized by Recruiter.com — “New hires obtained through employee referrals finish training and onboarding sooner than hires from other sources. This is not to mention that referred hires tend to start their jobs sooner than other hires: candidates from career sites start after 55 days; those found on job boards start after 39 days; and employee referrals start after 29 days.”

What are your takeaways?

There are far more small businesses looking to hire quality employees than there are candidates to fill the positions, as reported by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). It’s not surprising then, that employee referrals continue to be employers’ top source of hires, delivering more than 30 percent of all hires in 2016. (Source: Society for Human Resource Management)

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If you haven’t yet implemented an employee referral program, there’s no time like the present. For many businesses, current employees have proven themselves to be the best source of quality hires.

These right-fit new hires contribute to an ongoing positive and productive atmosphere — one which translates into warm, helpful service to your chiropractic patients.

On the other hand, if you already have a referral program in place, then hopefully these benefits will reassure and inspire you. Let the advantages we’ve outlined renew your commitment to employee referrals, and maybe even inspire you to energize your program with new or more generous incentives.

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Rewards for referrals don’t have to be costly or elaborate to gain results. As a matter of fact, the simpler they are to understand and administer, the more attractive they’ll be. Let your budget and your sense of what employees would appreciate guide you. If you aren’t sure what your staff would most like, ask them.

Ideas for incentive options can be as simple as a cash payout, a paid day off, a gift certificate for a great hotel, or an airline gift card. One tip to keep in mind is to refrain from giving the incentive immediately after hire.

To prevent the old quantity over quality problem where you pay for a referral that leads nowhere, consider a delayed reward payment. Wait until the new hire has successfully gone through training and been on the job for a certain period of time (60-90 days is common). Or, you could break up the recognition by giving a handwritten thank you or a portion of the reward upon hire, and then the remaining incentive after an initial work period.

Besides word-of-mouth from happy patients, employees are your practice’s most valuable brand ambassadors. They represent you and your practice — not only to new patients, but also to prospective new employees. Take advantage of that representation, and the fact that your employees love their jobs and who they work with.

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After all, you and your staff likely spend as much if not more time with each other as you do with your families. Make your practice a place where everyone looks forward to going to work each day by hiring well.

And when you have a few minutes, be sure to check out our blog for more tips designed to help your chiropractic practice thrive. You’ll find further advice on How to Hire and Keep Your Best Employees, ways to talk to patients about the cost of treatment, marketing tips, and more.

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