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Dear Workforce How Can I Have Bigger Referral Incentives for IT Employees Without Jealousy

Try using a variety of incentive factors, which may blunt the impact of each.
August 30, 2000
Related Topics: Candidate Sourcing, Dear Workforce

Dear Workforce:

We want to establish a bonus program for referrals with different amounts of bonus by position. But how do we acknowledge that some positions, namely IT, are harder to fill than others without making staff feel their position with the company is less important?

--Kathy Quigley, Director of HR, Atlanta, GA

A Dear Kathy:

One possibility that comes to mind is establishing a system that has several prongs.

For example:

1) One of the incentives would be that each person receives a certain amount of money for any successful referral. They get half the pot when the new employee starts and another half after six months of both employees being employed, or after another designated period of time.

2) Another incentive could for the employee or group of employees who provide the most referrals over the course of the year.

3) A third incentive could be given for each position that is "hard to fill." You could provide various criteria that would fall under the category of hard to fill. For example, it could be because of the job market during that period of time. Or, a position could move into the "hard to fill" category after being open for a certain extended period of time. Or, you could have other criteria (like that it's a dirty job and no one wants to do it). You'd let employees know the hard-to-fill criteria will vary and be up to the company.

4) You could have another incentive, perhaps for the employee who provides the most leads (candidates that get interviewed, as opposed to beginning work) or something like that.

By providing several different incentives, you could minimize the IT envy but still offer some incentive for filling the position.

For advice from others, try the Recruiting and Staffing Forum.


SOURCE: Online Editor Todd Raphael.

E-mail your Dear Workforce questions to Online Editor Todd Raphael at, along with your name, title, organization and location. Unless you state otherwise, your identifying info may be used on and in Workforce magazine. We can't guarantee we'll be able to answer every question.


 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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