Employee referrals in figures: the top ten facts about employee referral programs

April 10, 2017 Stephen Brown
Employee referrals in figures: the top ten facts about employee referral programs

Employee referrals are a great way for hiring and retaining top talent. But don't take our word for it - read these top facts and figures about referrals.

It can be difficult to keep track of all the facts and figures flying around when it comes to the efficacy of employee referrals, so here are our favorite employee referrals program facts, all in one place:

  1. Referrals are the number 1 source when it comes to hiring volume.

  2. Referrals are the number 1 source for new hire quality.

  3. Referrals are the number 1 method when you’re looking to fill your role fast (29 days for referrals, 39 days for job boards, and 45 days for career sites).

  4. Referrals are rated number 1 when it comes to holding onto staff, with a 46% retention rate after 1 year (compared to 33% from career sites and 22% from job boards).

  5. Looking at longer lengths, employee referrals are rated number 1 with retention rates of 45% after two years (compared to 20% from job boards after two years).

  6. 46% of all hires at top performing firms are referrals. For all companies in general, this figure is between 28% and 39.9% of all hires.

  7. When it comes to the application-to-hire ratio, referrals are rated top, being hired at a rate of 1 out of 3 applications for top-performing firms and 1 out of 10 at average firms. That compares to the average applicant to hire ratio of 1 out of 18 from all recruitment sources.

  8. Shockingly, referrals account for only 6.9% of applicants.

  9. Job boards hires cost on average $1,671 versus referral hiring costs of $2,306 - only $635 more for much higher quality and retention rates.

10.It is often believed that referrals have a negative effect on diversity. In fact, referrals are rated as the “most productive” source for diversity hires, well ahead of major job boards, company affinity groups, and diversity career fairs.

Want to learn more about how these benefits can be felt in your organization? Get in touch with us today.

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