9 Ways To Create A Fun Employee Referral Program

  • Added:
    Sep 04, 2014
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9 Ways To Create A Fun Employee Referral Program Photo by Savio Vadakkan

The success of an employee referral program hinges entirely on the active participation of employees, and we all know that in any organization employees are one of the biggest skeptics of any new program. It needs a lot of well planned interventions and communication to win employees over to your side and the same holds true with employee referrals. With referrals there is the added element of boredom setting in after sometime as the same process is repeated for every new opening.

Adding fun and excitement therefore becomes imperative to keep employees engaged with the program even after the initial euphoria over the program has settled down. Adding a bit of fun to the program helps keep things interesting and also spreads positive word of mouth about the program which helps to draw in more employees to participate in the program.

Below are some tips on how you can create a fun employee referral program that is truly appreciated by employees.

• The first and foremost thing to do is to add many more winners to the referral program instead of just one. The fun element goes up significantly if there are multiple chances of winning prizes throughout the program, even if the prizes are small in nature. For instance including movie tickets for someone whose referral manages to cross the 1st round of interview will add more excitement to the program.

• Surprise your employees every now and then by mixing things or adding new elements to the referral program. For instance you can introduce a double rewards hour where employees earn double the normal rewards for referrals made within that hour. Other ideas include holding surprise lotteries and raffles for employees whose referrals have made been successfully screened for interview.


• Hard to fill positions can be made fun by holding competitions with special prizes for employees who refer candidates for that position.

• Another way to keep things fun is to introduce limited time offers with attractive prizes where employees referring qualified candidates within that time frame earn special rewards.


• Gamification is a wonderful tool to promote fun and excitement in the program. Have a leaderboard displaying the points each employee has earned in the referral reward program and keep pitting them against each other to keep things interesting.

• Introduce points based rewards system where points are redeemable against prizes. Introduce  bonus points from time to time for employees completing a specific action which adds more fun and surprise to the referral program


• Team competitions are another way to build fun into employee referrals. Special competitions between functions and departments with the winning prize going to the team with the maximum referrals are another way to promote both excitement and collaboration within teams.

• Organize drawings or raffles at scheduled times of the year. It could be in the form of a annual bumper draw like a vacation cruise or multiple small draws throughout the year for employees participating in the referral program


• Organize referral events and create videos and posters of employees having fun at these events and circulate them widely for people to relive those events and keep looking forward to the next one.


Adding fun to the referral program means putting your creative caps on and thinking from the point of view of what would interest employees and help them stay engaged and excited about the program. When you are able to think from that perspective, you are sure create a rocking and high-performing employee referral program.

Author's Profile

Savio Vadakkan is a Marketing Professional for ZALP, a unique employee referral software. ZALP guides organizations about how to create a successful employee referral program by means of social media integrated recruiting techniques.


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