Justin Copp on Achieving Global Success with Talent Sourcing and Attraction

February 8, 2019 Alessandra Williams

Justin Copp drives the worldwide initiative at PayPal for the sourcing solutions and programs to have a top talent pipeline of highly qualified and diverse candidates.


Tenacity and Charisma of an International Leader

Justin CoppExceptional is the name of the game, and where Copp has set the bar for himself and his team. He maintains a proactive approach, consistent methodology, and align processes to guarantee the universal wild success of candidate engagement, contact, and experience at PayPal. His positive outlook and list of accomplishments continually contribute to the momentum of the growth and diversity of the company. His comprehensive experience on having a strong employee referrals program is worth noting in how to build and develop engaged and passionate teams.

1. Do you think there is an ideal % of hires a company should aim to generate through referrals?

Higher percentages are always better, employee referrals are such a valuable population.

2. What are the main challenges you’ve seen companies face when looking to increase their % of hires through referrals?

The internal communication and awareness of the platform. Challenges can occur at the launch and beyond launch. Content needs to be continually engaging for results and needs to be more than regurgitating rules.

3. How are referred candidates perceived by hiring managers at companies you’ve worked at?

Referred candidates are preferred and the managerial preference.

4. How have you marketed referral programs to create internal visibility?

T-shirts have worked well! Also, we have a dedicated person on the team specific to the referral program. It becomes extremely important to have a designated role for the program, especially when an organization gets to a certain size. If the program isn’t working properly, there is the possibility of encountering the proverbial black hole. It can always be fixed with direct interaction which is why it’s helpful to have a champion for the program.

5. Outside of the direct value of filling requisitions, have you experienced any other benefits of a strong referrals program?

There is an extra retention component, as there is loyalty to the employee who’s referred someone in, not necessarily only the company. In addition, the facilitating of an environment where a person can be really known versus having employees as recruitment marketers.

6. What referral probation periods have you seen associated with cash rewards?

The 90 day probation period changed to 30 days. It further builds the trust of the employees. Black and white rules can minimize the difficulties in administration.

7. How have referred candidates compared on a cost-per-hire basis to other candidate sources?

Referrals are the less expensive source. The cost of a tool plus employee referral payout comes out to about 33%-50% of a typical cost of hire from another source.

8. What’s the #1 employee referral program tip you would like to pass on?

Maximize your enterprise socialization of the program and platform as it’s hard to build anything without it. Get the word out often about the program, keep it fresh with new ideas, and maintain a consistent variety.


To take the steps in ensuring an exceptional referral program, here are my three takeaways from the conversation with Copp:

Takeaway #1: Referrals are valuable assets and a top preference of hiring managers. A strong referral rate at a company will reflect the value and desire for referrals.

Takeaway #2: Have a designated person to run and manage the referral program. Direct interaction and accountability establish rapport and trust.

Takeaway #3: Shorten reward probation periods. The earlier the positive reinforcement of the reward leads to better branding and reliability of the company.


What were your takeaways? Are the initiatives currently in place at your company?

Share the article and be sure to let us know your thoughts on what makes a great referral program.

About the Author

Alessandra Williams

Alessandra Williams, our Marketing Development Lead, spearheads the efforts of organizing company-sponsored events. She loves connecting with passionate and innovative recruitment leaders who believe the people at their companies are genuinely their best asset. For the past several years, she has traveled all over the country to interview prominent thought leaders and provide encouragement to those who want to learn about the best industry practices, such as the benefits of implementing a strong employee referrals and internal mobility program. When she's not working, she is back home in sunny Southern California and loves walking her dog, exploring historical sites and museums, going on hikes, practicing yoga, and eating to her heart's content at the best restaurants (yes, feel free to reach out to her for recommendations and help with SF & LA reservations).

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