How to build an effective employee recognition program that improves recruiting

Lively hiring discussion

7 mins, 10 secs read time

Recruitment plays a vital role in any organization. Finding top talent is highly competitive, even at times when employers have the upper hand in the market. If your team has been tasked with recruiting better candidates faster, it's critical to take a step back and consider how you’re treating your best assets: your recruiters.

One way to make a positive impact on your recruiting team is by recognizing and rewarding them for the work they do with an employee recognition program. Let’s dive into some of the best strategies you can use to recognize and reward the people that help you build your company, one job at a time.

1. Create clear and measurable recruitment goals

How many of your organization’s recruiters know their monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals? Are they responsible for a particular department? Do they have a number of open positions they're responsible for filling? No matter the size of the team, having clear recruitment goals makes it easy for leaders and recruiters to know who is excelling at work.

Let's take a recruiter who fills ten positions every month. They’re doing great if they should be filling at or around ten positions. However, if the company is trying to grow quickly and you need to fill twenty positions every month, that recruiter isn't meeting expectations.

Unfortunately, employees aren't always given the proper context to understand what a good job is. With the correct information, recruiters can tweak their current strategies to deliver the results your business needs and avoid unnecessary burnout along the way.

In a recent report by Asana, clear goals that felt connected to and valued by the company made a vast difference in business outcomes and performance. In a global study of 9,615 knowledge workers, Asana found that clear goals had an impact on:

  • Employee perception of the value of their role
  • Collaboration between employees
  • Employee tenure and churn
  • Company revenue growth
  • Employee resilience

Overall, helping your team get clarity around their goals will help your organization in the long run. Your team can only swim in the right direction if they're clear about the impact of their role and what they should be focusing on.

2. Invest in peer-to-peer recognition to reward positive daily actions

As your recruiters and hiring managers start moving in the right direction and impacting your goals, an employee recognition program can make a massive difference in helping employees stay motivated.

According to a recent Nectar survey, praise can have a huge impact at work. Here are some of the employee recognition statistics that were uncovered:

  • 83.6% of employees feel that recognition affects their motivation to succeed at work
  • 77.9% of employees would be more productive if they were praised more frequently
  • 81.9% of employees agree that recognition for their contributions improves their engagement

Recognition can take many shapes and sizes. The best praise happens consistently and takes place as quickly as possible after a praise-worthy event. In the same survey, 94% of employees who received weekly praise felt valued by their employers, while only 37% of employees receiving yearly recognition felt the same.

So, how do you make employee recognition more effective without spending too much time handing out praise? Investing in peer-to-peer recognition can make a huge impact. Companies with peer-to-peer recognition programs can make the process easier because everyone gets involved in sharing praise.

Typically, this process falls on overworked managers and company leaders, but individual contributors and team members get a different perspective of their colleagues' impact. Investing in an employee recognition software can ensure more people feel appreciated daily.

3. Challenge your recruiters to think outside the box

To find the best candidates and hit goals, recruiters need to worker smarter and learn new strategies and techniques. It can be easy to get comfortable with recruiting tactics that work. For example, LinkedIn is one of the most popular destinations for job seekers, where 117 job applications are submitted every second. Since tools like LinkedIn are so well-used, it’s important to occasionally step out of your comfort zone and find another place to recruit stellar candidates.

For example, many organizations turn to niche-specific job boards like Women In Sales Everywhere, DiversityJobs, or RecruitDisability. Other organizations might want recruiters to tap into their network or find some new ideas to propose. When you need to inject something new into your recruiting process, a challenge can be an excellent way to do it.

Recruiter enablement is crucial for companies. Here are some potential challenges you can use to inspire your recruiting team:

  • Propose and try out a new place to recruit candidates
  • Read a popular book about recruiting and share how you will implement the teachings
  • Post about an open role you're recruiting for on LinkedIn
  • Hit your recruiting goal for three months in a row
  • Have a candidate you recruited stay with the company for over a year

To make your challenges more successful, you can tie those challenges to a prize. For example, you could give a reasonable gift card to the recruiters who take you up on these challenges and complete them.

Nectar gives leaders complete control to build out challenges by department. For example, you could create a challenge for your recruiters, assign it a reasonable number of Nectar points, and gamify the process of thinking outside the box to recruit better candidates. As challenges are completed, they appear in the Nectar social feed, encouraging other recruiters to complete these challenges that help you build a better recruiting team.

4. Celebrate big wins with monthly, quarterly and yearly awards

According to a recent Nectar survey of 800 full-time United States employees, 45% of companies participate in an employee of the month program. While these programs can have some issues if you consistently give the prize to the same worker, they have some benefits.

When you see an employee who has won an Employee Of The Month or Recruiter Of The Year award, it makes a huge difference inside and outside an organization. Since most of these awards have a similar structure to determine winners, it can signify a successful employee.

Awards can take many shapes. For example, you could give out monthly, quarterly and even annual awards to recruiters making positive work progress. You could make these awards memorable by calling out recruiters during a team or company-wide meeting, creating a certificate or trophy for winners and even sending the winners a prize.

Nectar allows managers and administrators to hand out awards inside the platform. Winners are awarded points they can redeem on things that matter to them. You can give out the prize that best fits the situation based on the award's prestige. For example, a monthly award might receive $25, while a yearly award could receive $100.

5. Provide tangible rewards for great work

We've talked about the importance of rewards at length today. Tangible rewards can do wonders for employees. Being praised for great work is one thing, but tying that to items like gift cards, a new gaming console or even company swag can create further impact with recognition.

For example, when your organization uses a tool like Nectar, recruiters can turn the points they earn through employee recognition, challenges and awards into items and gift cards they can use to treat themselves and others.

If you have time to run this program, you can choose a more manual process to prove the benefits of spending money on rewards.

Recognizing recruiters for a job well done

Whether your organization is small or large, recruitment is vital in helping you get where you want to be. Recruiters should be recognized and rewarded for their work to recruit stellar employees who become assets to your organization.

An employee recognition program doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require a lot of attention from leaders. Getting your employees involved in the process of recognizing each other can make the process smoother for everyone. On top of peer-to-peer recognition, there are other ways to praise employees through larger awards or even challenges that get them to do tasks you need them to do to succeed.

Whether you're interested in a tool to solve your recognition problems or you'd rather create a manual solution, hopefully, this guide gives you some food for thought as you build your company's recruiter recognition program.

Interested in more ways to empower employees? Find out how to create a great employee advocacy program.

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Amanda Cross

Amanda Cross

is the content marketing manager for Nectar, an employee recognition and rewards platform. She has 5+ years of experience writing content for HR technology companies. She uses her content to empower organizations and company leaders to create positive cultures for their employees.

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