Employee Referrals: Your Greatest Recruiting Source

You know that your employees are just as valuable as your customers, if not moreso.  Your team is the front-line of your business: executors of strategy, builders of customer relationships, and keepers of your employment brand.  The latter also means your employees are an amazing source for recruiting new talent.  

Think of your personal networks. From your social media reach to your personal and professional circles, when you share a job opportunity with your network it probably reaches hundreds of people. This same reach can be multiplied by empowering your employees to share job opportunities in their own networks.  Through a simple employee referral program you can quickly broadcast openings using your own internal recruiting force … all before spending a dime on job board postings!

Employee referrals are one of the largest sources of hires – 39% according to a recent study – for companies who actively communicate opportunities to their current employees and encourage referrals.  The impressive applicant-to-hire rate for referrals is largely due to the quality of candidates you’re likely to receive from a referral as opposed to a job board.  There is compelling evidence that shows A-Players refer fellow A-Players.  After all, talented, motivated people usually surround themselves with talented, motivated peers.  By empowering your high contributors to refer from within their network, you’re building a strong talent pipeline.

Here are a few more benefits to employee referrals:

  • Faster Time to Hire A recent study showed that it takes an average of 29 days to hire a referred candidate compared to  39 days to hire a candidate through a job site.  
  • Lower Cost per Hire – No recruiter fees.  No expensive sponsored job posts or advertising.  And due to the faster time to hire, you cut internal costs as well.  
  • Smoother Onboarding – A referred employee will usually have  more insight into the company and its culture when they start than  someone who applied through a job posting. And they have the  person who referred them as a resource to ease their transition!  
  • Higher Retention Rate – Referral employees stick around longer. As they have been pre-filtered by their referrer for cultural fit and performance, it’s no surprise that referrals have a lower turnover rate than other hires.  


Getting Started with an Employee Referral Program:

  1. Share Your Opportunities: Communicate open positions to your employees and get them excited to share with their network.
  2. Track Referral Applicants: Use unique job posting URLs and referral form fields so that you can track sources and provide invaluable insight into your hiring process.
  3. Keep Referers Informed: Your employees are doing you a favor by sending talent; replay them by communicating openly as their referral moves through the hiring process.  
  4. Reward Referral Hires: Motivate employees to consistently refer great candidates by providing a referral bonus when you hire their referral.   

At CareerPlug, we made it easy for our clients to take advantage of employee referrals by integrating employee referral communication and tracking into our hiring software.

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Nicolle Gatlin

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Kacie Sommers

Creative Design Manager

Kacie was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a degree in Anthropology.

Kacie joined CareerPlug as an intern while still in college in 2012. Post-graduation, she joined the CareerPlug team full-time as a Talent Specialist on the Recruitment Services side of the business, eventually working her way up to be the Recruitment Services Manager. From there, she learned her passion for the internal processes of what makes the business tick and explored other roles at the company, including Internal Support, Implementation, and Quality Management, before eventually finding her home in Design. She is now building a Creative Design branch off of the Marketing team.

Outside of work, you can find Kacie walking her dogs Bixby & Bean along Buffalo Bayou, hanging out with friends (and their pets), and tending to her 40+ house plants.

Jenny Leman


Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

As CareerPlug’s President, Jenny leads all teams to an aligned effort toward achieving our vision. She works to build healthy and scalable internal systems to equip and empower the CareerPlug teams to bring their best for our clients. She loves contributing new ideas and rethinking the status quo. Jenny really connects with the company’s core values, but especially with our intent to “Keep Growing.”

In her non-work life, Jenny enjoys time with her family, playing drums and performing with the Austin Samba School, and finding excuses to be on the lake.

Chris Igou

Vice President of Sales

Chris accidentally started a 20-year career in franchising when he was 18 years old and took a job painting houses for College Pro Painters. That job turned into the ownership of his first franchise (a house painting franchise). While at Monmouth College in IL, he operated his business, played on the varsity football team, and studied to become a teacher.

The taste of entrepreneurship and desire to coach others led Chris deeper into franchising, working with a few franchise brands helping them grow their businesses. He lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life until recently moving his family to Austin, TX.

In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.

Andrew Robinson III

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Natalie Morgan

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Ashley Garia

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Desiree Echevarria

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Ashley Johnson

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Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

As the Implementation Manager, Ashley and 3 direct reports function as a transition between Sales and Partner Success in helping our clients get set up and established in our software. She spends her free time raising her 2 dogs, playing cornhole, and perfecting the art of charcuterie.

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Use our templates to create an attractive careers page and job posting. Then promote it through our job board partners, as well as directly with your employees, customers, and social network.



Use our notifications and automations to be the first to respond to qualified applicants. Send texts and emails from directly from CareerPlug to convert applicants to scheduled interviews.



Use our prescreen questions and assessments to identify the best applicants. Then use our interview questions and scorecards to evaluate for the right things consistently.



Once you think you have found the right person, use our reference and background check resources to verify them. Then, send an electronic offer letter from CareerPlug to close the deal!



Hiring is hard, but partnering with us makes it easier. From posting jobs to scheduling interviews, CareerPlug allows you to automate certain parts of the process to improve your results and save you time.


Polly Schandorf

Engineering Manager

Joe Lepis

Engineering Manager

Clint Smith

Founder & CEO

Clint founded CareerPlug in 2007 with the simple idea that there was a better way to help employers connect with quality applicants. Today Clint works every day to fulfill CareerPlug’s mission: Make Hiring Easier. Leading by example, Clint loves spending his time developing new ideas and teaching others.

After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.

Clint is passionate about helping others succeed and is involved in numerous mentoring programs. He and his wife, Sarah, are also foster parents. Clint enjoys family time, beach volleyball, and outdoor adventures.