QPS Employment Group has seen its employee referral bonus payments increase more than $350,000 this year, a sign that word of mouth is sometimes the best way for employers to find the talent they need.
The Brookfield-based staffing firm has always relied on referrals to help fill open positions, but the company made a conscious decision to expand its bonus program this year. As a result, QPS has paid out more than $400,000 year-to-date after paying out $50,000 last year.
“Advertising referral bonuses to your current employees is a great way to help them recruit for you as well as help bring in new employees who they recommend and would like to work with,” said Mark Immekus, QPS president and chief sales officer.
He added that QPS uses a number of sources to attract new candidates, including social media, traditional job boards and local advertising, but word of mouth has always worked the best.
“Our recruiters are asking everyone they talk to for referrals,” Immekus said.
The standard QPS bonus pays employees $125 if they refer a candidate that QPS puts to work for a month. The company also extends the program to internal positions, paying up to $1,000 for those who help fill those jobs.
Amber Laurent, a regional director at Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup, said Manpower offers traditional referral bonus programs as well, but the lack of available talent and need for increased skills has required the company to do more. The company created MyPath, a program that offers candidates experience, education, assessment and guidance to help expose them to new opportunities and enhance their employability.
Referral bonus programs typically require a new employee to be with a company for a set period of time before the referrer can receive a bonus, Laurent said. She added some companies offer bonuses to both the existing and new employee while others pay out the bonus in multiple installments.
“There are multiple ways to offer the referral program so having a clearly thought out program in writing will help avoid confusion once rolled out to employees,” she said.
Laurent added that company image is becoming an increasingly important part of recruiting new employees.
“People want to work with an organization that is trustworthy, ethical, stable, growing and has opportunities for them to learn and grow in their career,” she said. “Providing good benefits, 401K and salary are a must, but to attract the best employees and retain employees long term, you must think about how you are going to help them advance in their career.”
Other area staffing firms, including Nissen Staffing Continuum and Seek Careers/Staffing, did not immediately respond to or weren’t available for comment on recruiting practices.