BENGALURU: If you think you are submitting your resume to an HR black hole, may be you can now count on your friends to recommend you. Such is the hunger for good talent that employee referral programmes have become extremely attractive.
Bengaluru-based mobile advertising network InMobi has just reworked its referral programme to include a host of adventure and experiential travel rewards. These include cage diving with sharks in South Africa, parties in Thailand or Amsterdam, and wine tours in Europe. If the employee is a bike enthusiast, he/she could get a Thunderbird, and if a tech enthusiast, an iPhone. Cricket buffs have a chance to win two tickets for the IPL finals at Eden Gardens.
Last year, internet product company Directi gave away Harley Davidsons and even a Volkswagen Polo car as rewards for internal referrals.
Under referral programmes, if an employee recommends a friend for a position in the company and if the person is selected, then the company rewards the employee. Normally, such rewards involve a cash payment of several thousand rupees.
Rajesh Sridhar, member of the people operations team at InMobi, said the company's vision was to build 'Dream Team InMobi'. "We're doing this by disrupting the usual way referral programmes are run. Usually referral programmes are not generous or if they are generous, they don't create memorable experiences as the currency used is mainly cash," he said.
New-age companies like InMobi are growing at a scorching pace and attracting right talent is key to their strategy. InMobi competes with Google in the mobile advertising business.
"Psychological research suggests that awaiting an experience elicits more happiness and excitement than awaiting a cash incentive," said Sridhar.
Utkarsh Joshi, principal in The HRFund, an HR-focused private investment company, noted that the average age of employees in these companies is below 30, and companies "are doling out innovative perks as an engagement tool." It also reduces hiring lead time significantly, he said
Pankaj Bansal, CEO of PeopleStrong HR Services, said HR heads are tapping into their internal employee pool for recommendations on senior level positions because executive search consultants charge exorbitant fees of 30-35% of the candidate's CTC (cost to company). "There are firms that hire 60% of their employees through referrals," he said.