How To Encourage Employees To Refer New Employees

We’ve said it a hundred times before, but it’s still true: your employees are your restaurant’s most valuable asset. And in terms of hiring, there are lots of ways to encourage employees to refer new employees. When you’re looking to add to your team, your employees are the first place you should turn - after all, if you already trust and repect them enough to trust them with your business, why wouldn’t you extend that trust and respect to the people they think would improve your team?

There are lots of ways to encourage your staff to refer new employees--below are a few tips to help make the most of your staff’s connection so you can build an amazing team together.

Be proactive

As a manager, it probably seems natural to you that your employees would recommend anyone they think would be a good fit at your restaurant. But your employees have a lot on their mind. In many cases, they may not even realize that you’re looking for new additions to the team. And even though many managers find that announcing new position openings at staff meetings will be enough to encourage staff to bring their friends forward at candidates, sometimes they need a little extra reminder.

To help the flow of prospects continue, make sure you’re proactive about asking for new talent. In addition to reminding your staff at team meetings, take the opportunity to share what you’re looking for on a shared company message board, or through a group email or message to your staff. And in addition to group messages, make sure you’re taking your employees aside from time to time and reminding them that they’re an important part of building your staff.

Have a “door always open” policy

Most managers also make the mistake of thinking that if there’s no specific position open, they don’t need to be looking for great talent. The truth is that right time to find great talent is all the time - and if you’re not on the lookout, you might miss someone worth hiring.

The best thing you can do is let your staff know that you have a “door always open” policy when it comes to recommending new talent. Even if you don’t have a specific position open, your employees should know that they’re encouraged to keep an eye out for someone who might be a strong addition to the team. By letting your team know that your door is always open and you’re always willing to have a conversation.

Offer incentives

Just like the other times we’ve talked about encouraging your staff, sometimes it helps to offer an incentive. If you let your employees know that there’s something in it for them, they might be more likely to refer their friends or connections as your latest servers or cooks.

Monetary and non-monetary incentives are both great ways to motivate your staff to keep their eyes and ears open for new staff. For example, you might consider offering a small bonus check if someone that an employee refers is hired. Or, you could also offer a non-monetary incentive like extra time off, a small party or a chance at a promotion or additional responsibility.

Keep in mind, the employees that your current staff refers will probably be a strong addition to your team. How have you encouraged employees to refer new employees for your teams?