Once you’ve answered these questions, create an outline of the type of caregiver you need and make sure everyone in your company (including office and support staff) has read it. It may be useful to reach out to your top caregivers individually as they are the most likely to refer other capable caregivers.
2. Create an incentive.
Make the incentive good, make it clear, make it the same for everyone, and make sure everyone knows about it. While it may seem costly to offer cash bonuses for every successful employee referral, this will likely save you money elsewhere. According to our calculations, the average caregiver costs $2,600 to hire and train. Because caregivers referred by other caregivers tend to stay longer, offering a cash bonus for referrals will likely save you money in the long run.
3. Clearly outline the parameters of the incentive.
This ensures that everyone is on the same page and avoids conflict due to confusion. All employees should understand what the incentive is, what is required to get the incentive, and when the incentive will be given. You may want to offer one bonus to the referring employee when the new referral is hired and another bonus when they have stayed with your company for a certain amount of time (90 days being one important milestone). This will incentivize employees to find you caregivers who are committed to sticking around.
4. Create a simple, consistent process to submit and track referrals.
It’s critical to make sure everyone understands the process and that it’s the same every time. Otherwise, confusion may cause qualified candidates to slip through the cracks.
Some of the questions to consider:
Do you contact the referrals or do the referrals contact you?
Where are the referrals logged?
Does the referring employee submit a written reference?
Creating a consistent, user-friendly process is key to ensuring the success of your program.
5. Reward and recognize referring employees.
Don’t be sluggish in giving out the incentives once people have earned it. Instant gratification helps increase participation in the program for the future and helps employees see the immediate value in referring new caregivers. In addition to providing the promised incentive to the referring employee, giving public recognition may also help encourage them to keep referring good caregivers.
6. Track the numbers to keep improving your program.
Here at Home Care Pulse, we’re big proponents of collecting good data. Tracking the numbers involved with your program will help you measure its usefulness and see how it can be improved. For example, if you are receiving a large number of referrals but hire a lower percentage of them than through other means, it may be a sign you have not communicated effectively your needs or criteria for new caregivers to your employees. Some statistics you should track include the percentage of new hires who come from referrals versus other methods, the percentage of your employees who participate in your program, and how long your referrals stay versus other hires.