We’ve reached the third and final chapter of our Hiring guide. Did you catch the first two chapters on writing job descriptions, and interviewing? If not, feel free to jump to the links and read through them.

    For our third and final entry we discuss creating a successful employee referral program. We hope you enjoy.

    Six Steps to Creating an Employee Referral Program

    Want to learn how to tap into your existing staff (especially those rockstar team members) to attract more hard-working cleaners? It’s easier than you think. We’ve put together six straightforward steps for setting up your own employee referral plan—helping your overall recruitment goals. Like we’ve talked about in chapters one and two, finding the right people helps save you time and money on hiring and training.

    Step #1 – Set a Goal

    It’s impossible to measure how successful any kind of plan is without setting goals. The employee referral program is no different — what does success look like? How and when will you know it’s working? Just as importantly — how will you know if it’s not working?

    Setting goals helps you to understand just what your cleaning company got out of the time spent on creating the referral program. Working toward reaching that goal is a great motivator on busy days when there are a million other things to do — keep your eyes on the prize! So, what exactly is the prize? Well, that depends.

    Define your goals by answering these questions:

    • For what time of day do I need more cleaners?
    • How many cleaners do I need?
    • How long will the contract be?

    Example Goal: I need to hire three more night-time cleaners for a new six-month contract.

    Tip: Give your managers and supervisors access to these goals to help guide everyone in the same direction. Having them clearly written down and easy to find is a great start for the program.

    Step #2 – Make the Program Easy to Use… Like, Really Easy

    The harder it is to use the program, the less people who will even try. Make the entire process both easy to understand and easy to do.

    Example 1: Create a simple form that asks them for the referral’s name and contact info.

    Example 2: Simply ask them to text you the referral’s name and contact info!

    Step #3 – Motivate People to Participate 

    Next, give your existing staff a reason to want to refer other cleaners. Money or something of value like a pre-paid gift card is always a great motivator. Referral programs are proven to reduce turnover in your cleaning company. Think about what it usually costs to advertise and recruit people, and be sure to compensate successful referrals accordingly.

    The bonus structure can work really well here, as you could pay your team members per successful referral, and tack it onto their paychecks.

    Monthly highlights of those who are using the referral program and what they’ve earned in bonuses is a fantastic way to motivate others to start using it. Is there a staff communications board, email newsletter or other ways of sending out this information?

    Step #4 – Reach Out to Every Person Referred

    You’ve put in the effort to start the program and asked your cleaners to take the time to send you the referrals — it would just look bad if you didn’t reach out to everyone who was referred. To ensure greater success and to make everyone involved feel appreciated, reach out to every person who is referred.

    Tip 1: Draft an email template that you can save which is the pre-written response to a referral. That way, you can simply copy and paste the message into a new email each time you need to.

    Tip 2: The response email should clearly outline how this person can properly apply for the job.

    Step #5 – Talk About the Referral Program, A Lot

    This one might seem obvious, but it can often get skipped, given how busy everyone is all the time. To design your communications plan, answer the following questions:

    • How will I talk about the referral program?
    • Where can I communicate the referral program?
    • How many times per week, or month, should I communicate the referral program?
    • Where can people go to get information on the referral program at any time?

    Mentioning the referral program during the on-boarding process is a very effective way to get the message across right away. All of the information should also be available somewhere online so that employees can access it at any time.

    Remember to have the key information included in these communication pieces, like:

    • How to send referrals to you.
    • How much they will be compensated.
    • When they will be compensated.
    • Are they being compensated per referral, or per successful referral?
    • What is a successful referral?

    To manage expectations, it can be helpful to communicate that not everyone who is referred will be hired. This is also a great place to post positions you’re currently looking to fill.

    Step #6 – Measure, Measure, Measure!

    Here’s the part where you find out how to measure your success. After all, we can only improve what we measure. Decide which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you want to track in order to determine if the program is working. Then benchmark how you were doing before you started the program.

    For example, how many hires from referrals did you get last quarter before you started a program? Then, how many did you get the quarter you launched the program? With those numbers, you can figure out the percentage increase. Other examples of KPIs are:

    • % of referred candidates you contact – commit to your team.
    • % of qualified referrals – are they sending you the right people?
    • % of staff that participate – do you need to get the word out better? Improve the offer?
    • Cost to hire organically versus through the referral program – determine your return on investment (ROI)

    This brings this chapter to a close. We hope you took a lot of valuable ideas and bring it with you into your business. Look forward to all three chapters in one easy to read formatted ebook coming soon for your convenience.

    Swept is dedicated to highlighting stories that touch everyone in the janitorial industry. Having started as a commercial cleaning company ourselves, our hearts go well beyond the janitorial software we offer. Want even more info on hiring and retention before the second chapter of the hiring guide gets released? Amazing, we’ve got you covered with our Complete Guide to Cleaner Retention.

    Learn more about Swept’s cleaning company software here. And to keep up on all the trends in the janitorial services industry, subscribe to our blog!

    Take a look at our Complete Cleaner Hiring Guide.

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