4 Companies With the Best Employee Referral Awards

Kristina Martic
Aug 3, 2018 · 3 min read

How do successful companies motivate their employees to take part in employee referral programs? Discover the secrets of the 4 companies with the best employee referral awards!

Employee referral awards: A perk or a necessity?

Let’s make one thing clear — great employee referral awards are not just another, cool perk that big brands use to showcase their Employer Brand.

Great employee referral awards are a necessity if you want to motivate your employees to take part in your employee referral program.

It is not enough to simply setup up a structured employee referral program.

Yeah, you as an HR professional might be excited about your brand new employee referral program because you know it can significantly improve time, cost and quality of hire.

However, your employees won’t share your excitement if you don’t lure them in with some great employee referral incentives!

So what type of employee referral awards work best?

Let’s take a look at the industry best practices.

4 companies with the best employee referral awards

1. Google

Google found out that giving its employees trips to Hawaii is better than offering them a $1M employee referral cash bonuses.

It may not be the first thing that comes to your mind, or even your employees’ mind when you ask them what they would like.

However, according to Google, it is what makes employees happier than cash incentives.

➡️ Key takeaway:

Test out Google’s best practice with your own employees!

Although your company probably can’t afford to send your employees to Hawaii, look or a more affordable trip option you can offer your employees.

2. DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean launched its new referrals incentive structure in May 2017.

For each referral candidate who is hired, the referring employee received a $3,500 referral bonus in addition to a $1,500 charitable donation paid by DigitalOcean on the employee’s behalf.

The result? By the end of the 2017, 40% of DigitalOcean’s new hires have been acquired through referrals.

➡️ Key takeaway:

Structure your employee referral bonuses to serve a good cause.
Instead of offering a cash prize,
offer to make a donation to your employee’s favorite support a charitable organization.

3. Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Instead of focusing solely on great employee referral awards per se, Hewlett Packard Enterprise build a culture around it.

They regularly organize company events to honor and publicly recognizes employees who refer qualified candidates.

By recognizing their referring employes as “champions” and celebrating their success, this company achieves a greater employee engagement.

➡️ Key takeaway:

Don’t focus only on your employee referral awards and forget to thank your employees for referring great candidates! Even if their candidate doesn’t end up hired in the end, you should still think of a way to thank them for their time and effort.

4. Distillery

Distillery is a software development company that has struggled to find and attract highly-qualified software developers.

This is why they turned to their current software developers and asked them to recommend great candidates.

Along the way, they discovered that their employees are most motivated when offered new gadgets such as a new iPhone or Apple watch.

➡️ Key takeaway:

There is no universal best type of employee referral bonuses that works for every company and every employee. You need to do your research and find out what works best for your own employees

Looking for more employee referral award ideas?

In this blog post, we presented 4 companies with the best employee referral awards.

Hopefully they inspired you and helped you come up with great ideas for your own employee referral awards!

Still looking for that perfect employee referral award?
Check out our list of the top 50 employee referral reward ideas!

HR Blog & Resources

Collection of HR Blogs & Resources to stay up to date with…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store