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Where do your best hires come from? The rise of the internal referrals!

Hiring talent into a business is an extremely important process.

You must hire the right people into your business to ensure its future growth and success. Working on the Talent Acquisition team in Morgan McKinley, I see first hand the difficulties that come with hiring the very best people for your business and the joys when it all falls into place. 

One thing I have noticed over the years is a change in the landscape of where the people we hire into our business are coming from. The obvious traditional sources are still actively being used such as, online job boards, company websites, careers sites, even still print media. There remains also a big focus on going after the 'passive candidates' in the market, both via online and traditional networking. What has really come to the forefront in our business and has been active in many other businesses for some time, are internal referrals. According to, "At top firms, over 50 percent of the hires will come from quality employee referrals". If referrals are going to or have the potential to equate for half of your hires in a year, it is most definitely time to get your internal referral scheme up to scratch and become even more attractive to employees!!

At Morgan McKinley, we on the Talent Acquisition team put a lot of work into revamping our internal referral schemes as it is fast becoming one of our top sources for new hires into our business.


Below are my top 5 tips on how to get your internal referral scheme working for you: 

  • First and foremost, internal referral schemes when administered correctly promote employee engagement. An employee who can have an impact on who their next colleague will be will feel empowered being a part of this process. Thank your employees for being involved and give praise when a referral is hired!
  • Ensure the terms and conditions of your referral scheme are clear, easy to understand and accessible for all employees
  • Reward with cash! If an employee has referred a candidate into the business and they are hired the best way to reward that employee is with a cash bonus. Cash bonus's can vary depending on the level of the hire too (make sure it is clear in the T&C's if you are using varying amounts and levels)
  • Consistently communicate with employees about the referral scheme. Do not mention it only at the start of the year or when someone joins. Keep it fresh in people's minds, through marketing material and communications
  • Make it fun! In Morgan McKinley as well as receiving a cash bonus for your referral you also go into an end of year draw for a 'grand prize', the winner is announced at the annual Christmas Party. Examples of the prizes have been a car and €5000 worth of holiday vouchers. This creates great excitement in the office and it is a fun way to close the year


Very best of luck with your internal referral schemes, keep them fun, engaging and reward employees for putting you in touch with excellent candidates!

If you would like to discuss internal opportunities in Morgan McKinley please don't hesitate to contact me for a confidential chat. 

  • Jun 04, 2015
  • Careers
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Anna Maher

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