employee referral programThe National Restaurant Association knows attracting and keeping qualified and dedicated staff is a challenge. One of the best ways to get great employees is through your current employees. You need to build a strong employee referral program. One successful strategy is  to cultivate in-house referrals;  therefore, your time and effort are maximized. These suggestions will help you sift through unqualified applicants.

4 steps to build a strong employee referral program

According to Donald Burns of HotSchedules, these suggestions can pay off for your restaurant.

1. Tier rewards. Burns recommends offering three bonuses. Give the first one when you hire a new person. If they stay 90 days, give out another.  In addition, give one on their 1-year anniversary. Worried about keeping track? Set up a tracking system.

You can also look into providing other incentives to employees that align with your company culture, such as complimentary meals. Just make sure you’ve got your rewards well documented.

2. Keep the program consistent. Set up a program you can repeat and track easily. Include the referral program in your employee handbook. Allow each employee to view the terms.

3. Keep your word. Keep your word and give the bonuses on time. It’s important to have a tool or process to help you keep track of the rewards.

4. Show off your culture. The first question a possible new hire may ask is, “What’s it like working here?” Highlight your culture and your crew on social media. Show the fun, the dedication, the patience and the passion through pictures and updates. If you’re just getting started, Instagram is great choice for easy-to-manage, photo-centric content.