Skip to main content
Employment Resources


By December 12, 2016No Comments

istock-6152028-xsmallRecruitment bonuses can be a powerful tool for growing your workforce. To set an effective price point for employee referral bonuses, consider:

  • The cost of using recruiters (up to 25% of the employee’s first-year salary)
  • The rate of turnover in the position
  • The income generated by the position
  • How strong the need is to find the employee
  • How much your competitors’ referral programs are paying

Now that you have a referral amount in mind:

  • Define the skills, experience, and personality desired on a one-page sheet that employees can use to describe the job opportunity. This reduces the variance in describing the opportunity.
  • On a separate sheet, give them a place to fill in follow up contact information for job prospects.
  • Consider paying the bonus in installments (for example, 1/6 every 30 days). Make it clear that the total award will be paid only if the new employee works the full six months.
  • Some companies include vendors, customers, clients, and others in this process using the same approach. The only caveat here is to watch potential conflicts of interest.

One company that hires predominately customer service reps gives every CSR a stack of business cards so that when they interact with someone who offers good service, they can hand them a card. The back of the card says something to the effect of, “You’ve given me good service today. Our company is always looking for people who can provide good service. If you’re interested, contact us at (123) 456-5678 or go to” It’s important to provide guidelines for avoiding conflicts of interest. The last thing you want your employees to do is hand those cards out at a client’s office!

Don Phin, Esq. is VP of Strategic Business Solutions at ThinkHR, which helps companies resolve urgent workforce issues, mitigate risk and ensure HR compliance. Phin has more than three decades of experience as an HR expert, published author and speaker, and spent 17 years in employment practices litigation. For more information, visit