Employee referral programs are becoming increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes and niches. But manually managing employee referrals can be complex and time-consuming, especially if you’re at the growth stage.

That’s why employee referral software tools are a must-have for your business. They can help you save time, reduce costs, and significantly increase your capacity for lead generation and hiring top talent.

Automating the referral process with employee referral software will make referrals easier to manage, prevent errors, and streamline the process. That way, there is transparency and visible accountability at every stage.

In this article, we will cover:

  • What employee referral software is
  • Types of employee referral software
  • The top 12 employee referral software tools in the market
  • Features of employee referral software
  • Benefits of employee referral program software
  • How to determine if you’re ready to use employee referral software

What is employee referral software? 

Employee referral software is software used to run employee referral programs. It encourages employees to reach out to their networks to recommend:

  • Your latest job openings, or 
  • Your products or services 

In exchange, your employees get referral rewards, known as employee referral bonuses.

Employee referral programs can be complex and time-consuming to implement manually. As your business starts to grow, you won’t be able to keep tabs on all the moving parts of your referral process individually. It makes sense to integrate smart automation. That’s where employee referral program software comes in. 

Types of employee referral software

There are three main types of employee referral program software: 

Employee-to-employee: This type of software helps you run, track, and manage campaigns that encourage employees to refer best-fit candidates for open jobs.

Employee-to-customer: Use this software to run, track, and manage programs that encourage employees to share your products or services with peers who could benefit. 

Flexible employee referral program software: This type of employee referral software is customizable to your needs.

Most employee referral software only runs employee-to-employee referral campaigns. 

And while some customer referral solutions (and brand ambassador solutions) can handle employee-to customer programs, they usually can’t manage employee-to-employee referrals. 

However, select employee referral software solutions are flexible enough to manage both types of employee referral programs. Choosing a flexible solution can help you leverage your employees for maximum growth! 

Top 12 employee referral software tools 

Up next, we’ll be covering the 12 most popular employee referral software tools. We’ve evaluated the tools based on the following: 

  • Key features
  • Customer review scores (where available)
  • Whether a demo, free plan, or free trial is available
  • Types of customer support 

This information will be helpful to narrow down potential employee referral tools for your business. 

SoftwarePricingDemo or free trial?Customer supportReview scoreType
Referral RockStarting at $200/monthFree plan, demoOnboarding specialist, live chat, knowledge base, product guide, resource guides, email support, webinars4.5 (55 reviews) Flexible (Employee-to-customer, employee-to-employee)
BoonN/AFree trial, demoChat4.0 (1 review) Employee-to-employee
JobviteN/ADemoSupport tickets4.05 (1017 reviews) Employee-to-employee
ERINStarting at $500/monthDemo, free planKnowledge base, support tickets4.71 (87 reviews)Employee-to-employee
TeamableN/ADemoDedicated success manager, custom implementation4.68 (24 reviews)Employee-to-employee
Employeereferrals.com N/ADemoEmail, phone, dedicated success team4.79 (33 reviews)Employee-to-employee
JoboteVaries based on # employeesN/AUnknownN/AEmployee-to-employee
FirstbirdN/ADemoHelp Center, email supportN/AEmployee-to-employee
Real LinksN/A DemoCustomer success teamN/AEmployee-to-employee
EmployUsN/ADemoUnknown4.5 (13 reviews)Employee-to-employee
HireUpVaries based on campaign sizeDemoSupport tickets4.9 (3 reviews) Employee-to-employee
WorkTapsN/ADemoUnknownN/AEmployee-to-employee

1. Referral Rock 

referral rock

Referral Rock referral software is a next-generation tool that helps you boost your employee referrals, increase brand awareness, and accelerate growth. 

Our software works for employee-to-employee referral programs, as well as employee-to-customer referral programs where employees serve as brand ambassadors. (This is in contrast to the other tools on this list, which are designed only for employee-to-employee referrals.)

Referral Rock lets you customize and brand your programs to your needs, and automates promotions to keep your program top-of-mind. It also integrates with over 30 of the tools you already use, for a seamless fit into your existing presence and processes.

Plus, our software is flexible enough to run other types of advocacy programs, such as customer-to-customer referral programs, affiliate programs, and channel partner programs!

Top 3 features:

  • Launch fast: Our program landing page builders help you personalize the referral experience quickly, with no need for complicated coding. Your program will be ready for employees in a matter of days.
  • Incentive flexibility: Offer any number of incentives that your employees will love, including cash back, gift cards, and swag. Plus, handle multi-step reward processes with ease.
  • Stellar customer service: Expert services to help onboard and tailor the program to your unique business needs.

 

Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
$200-$800/month; enterprise plan also available  Free plan and demo available Onboarding specialist, live chat, knowledge base, product guide, resource guides, email support, webinars 4.5 out of 5 (55 reviews) 

2. Boon 

boon

Boon works well both as a stand-alone software and as a complement to existing hiring systems such as an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). It’s designed to be an easy-to-use and engaging platform. Use it to automate status updates on each referral. You can also optimize your rewards schemes through the use of customizable templates and real-time payment tracking. 

Top 3 features:

  • Quick setup experience that doesn’t require training or additional onboarding support. 
  • Updates automatically by pulling data from your latest job postings.
  • Referral widget makes it easy for your employees to share referrals from anywhere.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
3 plans; no pricing listed  Free demo available Chat 4.0 out of 5 (1 review) 

3. Jobvite Employee Referrals 

jobvite

Jobvite is a talent acquisition platform that enables you to manage the entire talent management lifecycle end-to-end from a single location. The tool works well for businesses of all sizes. It’s a good tool to consider if you’re looking for a talent management suite that also doubles up as a great employee referral system. 

Top 3 features:

  • Automation of reward schemes optimizes your workflows and makes it easier for employees to participate.
  • Gives immediate feedback to referred candidates, enhancing the user experience for both current employees as well as the job seekers.
  • Extensive tracking capabilities help you monitor and manage the status of your engagement campaigns, referral bonuses, probation periods, and much more.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
No pricing listed  Free demo available Submit a case online (similar to a ticket) for support 4.05 out of 5 (1017 reviews) 

4. ERIN 

erin employee referral software

ERIN’s employee referral program software is known for being fast and user-friendly, which makes it appealing for employees to refer and track the status of their referrals on the go. According to its website, ERIN supports the ability to make referrals ‘in under 30 seconds’ using either the mobile or web app. 

Top 3 features:

  • Sends push notifications to employees automatically, whenever new jobs become available. 
  • Referrals can be sent via email as well as text messages.
  • Everyone involved in the referral process, whether they’re the referring employees, the hiring managers, HR, or the referral candidates themselves, can track the progress of the referral. 
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
$500-$875/month; enterprise plan also available Free demo and free plan available Knowledge base, support tickets 4.71 out of 5 (87 reviews) 

5. Teamable 

teamable employee referral software

Teamable’s employee referral platform leverages your employees’ social networks to create dynamic and fluid talent pools. Teamable helps you source quality talent by optimizing your referral workflows. The interface supports increased employee engagement and simplifies the process of employee referrals. 

Top 3 features: 

  • Powerful search option that helps you find passive candidates and utilize ‘warm’ email introductions from employees.
  • Gamification incentivizes employee referrals to open positions, increasing engagement rates.
  • Diversity- and inclusion-focused referral hiring features help you build a more robust team.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
No pricing listed Demo available Dedicated success manager and custom implementation 4.68 out of 5 (24 reviews) 

6. Employeereferrals.com 

employeereferrals

Employeereferrals.com, true to their name, has several features not available on other platforms. Powerful ‘recommendation engines’ make it easy for employees to target the most ideal candidates in terms of geo-location, title, skill description, and more. You can even leverage LinkedIn for recommendations.

Top 3 features:

  • Ability to record videos talking about your brand that candidates can see when they apply.
  • Employee leaderboards drive healthy competition and encourage active participation.
  • Customizable branding and URL options (making it easy for your employees to remember referral URLs while they’re mobile). 
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
No pricing listed  Free demo available Email, phone, dedicated success team 4.79 out of 5 (33 reviews) 

7. Jobote

jobote

Jobote helps you streamline and manage the referral workflow end-to-end, keeps all relevant parties in the loop, and has engagement features that incentivize employees to sign up. Jobote is also GDPR compliant.

Top 3 features:

  • Unique referral pages customized to meet the brand’s design colors that can be shared easily online.
  • Completely transparent interface for employees that tracks the progress of referrals besides listing conditions and rules for referrals.
  • Seamless integrations with the HR web application Teamio. 
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Varies based on number of employees, but is only listed in Euros None listed Unknown No reviews available 

8. Firstbird 

firstbird

Vienna-based Firstbird has been in the business since 2013. Their employee referral software closely integrates with ATS systems, as well as many other common software platforms. The simple interface cuts down on the time it takes to make referrals, and ensures employees stay up to date on their referrals’ status.

Top 3 features:

  • Sync with your ATS and publish jobs in Firstbird with one click.
  • Employees can make referrals via several social media platforms.
  • Suite of gamification options, including leaderboards, points, and shoppable rewards.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
No pricing listed Free demo available Help Center, email support No reviews available

real links employee referral software

Real Links provides the ability to create what they call ‘referral jam campaigns,’ which are short 30-minute platform-based referral competition events. These foster high engagement, are easily replicated, and are scalable across a business.

Top 3 features:

  • Job and content sharing can be pre-scheduled for the duration of the campaign to maximize the impact of social media sharing.
  • The software finds ‘hidden’ connections that employees didn’t know they had to match up to job openings. 
  • High-impact gamification in the form of live leaderboards, raffles, reward shops, confetti, and a lot more. 
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
No pricing listed  Free demo available Customer success team No reviews available 

10. EmployUs 

employus

The aptly titled EmployUs is pegged as a ‘simple’ employee referral marketing solution, but the platform is actually quite robust. The business recently joined forces with the HR and recruiting software company Hireology. 

Top 3 features:

  • Easily boost employee engagement by using email and SMS campaigns, proven A/B tested templates, and campaign analytics.
  • Referrals can be made in as little as seconds. Employees can even use email or SMS to submit referrals.
  • Complete referral management inclusive of automated eligibility checking and integration with ATS and HRIS.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
No pricing listed Free demo available Unknown 4.5 out of 5 (13 reviews)

11. HireUp 

hireup

HireUp’s focus is growing the “referral culture” within your organization through innovative referral marketing solutions. HireUp promises the best-in-class mobile-first experience on their referral marketing platform. The system can also be used with or without an ATS. 

Top 3 features:

  • Allows you to launch full branded and bespoke campaigns.
  • Gamification supports rapid adoption and social sharing by your employees.
  • Detailed analytics help you analyze and improve your referral culture in a sustainable manner.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Varies based on campaign size  Free demo available Support tickets 4.9 out of 5 (3 reviews) 

12. WorkTaps 

worktaps

WorkTaps is a mobile-first employee referral marketing solution that’s ideal for remote teams. It facilitates the ability to increase speed of hiring, improve retention rates, and generate cost savings.

Top 3 features:

  • Seamless solution for an hourly workforce working remotely or for teams working in a deskless environment.
  • Functions effortlessly as a recruiting machine that helps you find top talent quickly.
  • Mobile-first approach enables candidates to ‘tap and share’ links in a matter of seconds. 
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
No pricing listed  Free demo available Unknown No reviews available

Features of employee referral software 

As you’ve seen in the list above, employee referral software offers a whole host of different features that assist businesses. Look for these vital features when selecting an employee referral software:

Lets you set up and launch a program in just a few days

Contrast that launch time with spreadsheets and all other manual methods of managing referrals. The speed to market is incomparable.

Streamlines the referral process, making it simple for employees

Attention spans are short. To capture interest and encourage employees to make it to the finish line, employees must be able to refer using a minimal number of clicks, swipes, or taps. Software helps make this process quick, simple, and manageable. 

Tracks employee sharing 

Employee referral software instantly attributes every referral to the correct employee. With software, there is a much lower probability of delays and slip-throughs. Having software can help you stay on top of tracking and minimize potential mishaps.

Instantly issues rewards to employees 

Software ensures all your employees are paid and rewarded on time whenever their recommendations help grow your company. This eliminates the stress of having to micromanage each transaction, and keeps employees happy.

Integrates with your existing workflows

Since employee referral software integrates with your existing software programs and processes, referral data moves seamlessly through your system. This can be mission-critical for businesses that already have internal processes and systems in place. 

Engages employees with automated program promotions

This way, you won’t have to manually promote your referral program as heavily. The software will do some of the heavy lifting for you, and help ensure that the program stays at the top of employees’ minds.

Lets you customize your program to your brand’s needs

Having the referral software’s brand show up on your communications can be confusing and could lessen your credibility. Choose a software that allows you to customize your interface to match your own branding – and personalize your program to cover all the other needs of your brand.

Handles multi-step processes easily and effortlessly

For many employee referral programs, it’s essential to track and reward employees multiple times – and with different, increasing rewards – as a referral moves through different stages of the process. 

Some examples of multi-step rewards include:

  • Rewards for when the candidate applies, gets interviewed or shortlisted, and finally gets hired, or
  • Rewards for when a lead is qualified, sets up a demo, and then makes a purchase 

Make sure that, if you’d like to take advantage of such a process, your employee referral software is ready. 

Benefits of employee referral program software: In a nutshell

Now that we’ve gone through the features of employee referral software, let’s summarize the main benefits.

Employee-to-employee referral software helps streamline the hiring process. It puts qualified candidates right in front of you, saving you time sorting through applications. 

Employee-to-customer referral software helps bring in leads who are more likely to purchase from you – and more likely to remain your customers after they make that first purchase. 

Employee referral software: A type of brand ambassador software

Employee referral software is also sometimes called ‘brand ambassador software’ because your referring employees function a lot like brand ambassadors.

A brand ambassador is someone a business traditionally hires for promotion of the brand within the long-term. They represent the company in the best possible light, and in doing so, they increase the brand’s visibility and bottom-line sales.

Are you ready for employee referral program software? 

There are a few different points to consider if you’re thinking about utilizing employee referral program software.

You’re ready for employee-to-employee referral software if: 

You have a large enough company to warrant setting up the program and buying the software

How large your business is can be a matter of perspective. It’s really about establishing a baseline for the benefits of automating recruitment. 

Bear in mind that some software is billed based on the number of users as well.

Your employees know what makes an ideal employee

Set up a strong foundation through ongoing awareness initiatives. 

When they’re knowledgeable about culture fit, values, and other key characteristics of an ideal employee, your employees will recommend candidates who are more likely to get hired. 

Approaching things this way removes potential misunderstandings and frustrations with the employee referral process. It also makes the process fruitful for everyone involved.

You’re ready for employee-to-customer referral software if: 

Your employees know relevant information about your products/services

Employees must know enough to share what makes your products stand out, so they can identify people in their networks who have needs that your product can meet.

Create concise materials (such as short videos) that showcase your product’s unique features and benefits, and the ideal customers who are the best fit for your product. 

Your support team is ready to handle an influx of new customers

Referral programs can lead to rapid growth for your brand, but you’ll need to deliver the same level of support your existing customers expect. Set up your back-end administration and customer support so that quick jumps in customer numbers can be managed effortlessly.

 The last thing you want is to be ill-prepared and ill-equipped. That can cause disappointment and a loss of confidence for both employees and the people they’re referring to the business. It might make employees rethink whether they want to refer again. 

If you don’t think you’re ready for an employee referral program, consider a customer referral program, where customers recommend your brand and products to their peers. 

Conclusion 

Employee referral programs are becoming a must-have for businesses that are ready to scale. Create successful employee referral programs by using high-performance software that can help you save time, reduce costs, and extend your impact and reach. 

Use the best practices provided in this guide to get optimal results from all that work you’re putting in.

Referral Rock is a next-generation referral marketing software that:

  • Accommodates different types of referral marketing programs, including all types of employee referral programs
  • Delivers on-brand experiences 
  • Is supported by an exceptional customer support team

Learn more about what Referral Rock can do for your business or schedule a demo here. We’re excited about working with you to take your business to even greater heights.