You had me at “Thank You”: Intrinsically engaging employees for Strong Employee Referrals

Home / Social Recruiting / You had me at “Thank You”: Intrinsically engaging employees for Strong Employee Referrals

You had me at “Thank You”: Intrinsically engaging employees for Strong Employee Referrals

What is the easiest way to make your employees happy, after long hours of work they have just put in to help you recruit the best talents that they know of? It is this questions that bogs many companies to have success with their employee referral program. Creating a vibrate recruitment culture with employees fully aware and engaged with your program is more than just a $10,000 reward (and yes, we have seen dozens of companies give $10,000). Truth is, sometimes a simple “thanks” may be a sufficient, or in other cases, a fantastic experiential reward, such as a vacation. We have seen Careerify customers give a car, which can show you how serious some companies strive for building a strong recruitment culture with the necessary engagement.


The human psychology is naturally motivated by some level of reward or incentive. It is essential to review the various reward options you can provide your employees to further increase the rate of referrals without sacrificing the quality.

Irrespective of the size, geography, or type of your organization, it is imperative to reward and recognize your employees for their effort.

Let’s take a look at the two main types of engagements:

1. Intrinsic Engagement:

An absolute must when creating an optimized employee referral program. From best-selling author Daniel Pink of Drive to studies completed by MIT, research has indicated that intrinsic rewards are an excellent way to motivate employees to complete tasks through autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

2. Extrinsic Engagement:

A vital aspect that some of the most successful companies have created thus far. Extrinsic motivation can be in the form of different compensation such as points, dollars, perks, vacation days, or even promotions. We will look at different types of extrinsic engagement in the next blog.

Let’s briefly look at a few types of intrinsic engagement you can incorporate within your employee referral program. For a more detailed analysis, along with ways to further optimize your program, we encourage you to download this eBook on 15 Employee Referral Must Haves.


Recognition is a powerful feedback mechanism that many employees strive for. It can be a simple “thank you” for a referral from a recruiter. It has the influence to encourage an employee to think of who else within their networks may be great candidates for the corporation to hire. Optimized ERP’s often provide recognition throughout the interview process.

How do you incorporate recognition with the interview process you may ask? Here are a few tips:

  • Submission of a Candidate:

Once a candidate has applied for a position through an employee referral, it is strongly recommended to recognize the employee with a “thank you” in a timely manner. Reinforcing acknowledgement of the employees’ referral indicates to the employees that their referrals are valued by the organization. This also stimulates the employees to be more involved in the hiring process, creating deeper engagement.

  • Offer Stage:

After researching and assessing hundreds of companies, the few that have attained 50%+ of their hires through referrals often initiate recognition once an offer had been made to the candidate. Sometimes interviews are drawn out in a lengthy process. The employee can be an influential person within the offer stage, as he/she ultimately has a stronger relationship to persuade the candidate to accept the opportunity over potential competitive offers. By ensuring that the employee is involved in securing the hire, the employee will likely have greater fulfillment.


  • Hiring Stage:

Once the hire has taken place, recognizing the employee is an absolute must to ensure he/she participates in future recruiting opportunities. A form of recognition can be a simple “thank you” card from the hiring manager and recruiter, or a publicized recognition at town hall meetings. Two companies that we had studied recognize their employees by sending a monthly newsletter which includes exceptional performers who have helped with recruitment via the referral program.

It is important for HR staff to note that they must obtain permission from employees prior to providing public recognition. Though the majority of employees may yearn for public praise amongst their peers, some employees may shy away from this extra attention. It is important for HR staff to manage this process in order to ensure that employees are comfortable with any public recognition.

How do you engage employees intrinsically? We would love to hear your comments and suggestions.


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  • […] be as simple as a thank you. It shows that you appreciate the employee’s effort. This past post: You had me at “Thank You”: Intrinsically engaging employees for Strong Employee Referrals, goes into more detail about rewarding […]

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