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Why Employee Referrals?

Whether you’re a startup that just closed a round of funding, or a company that needs to meet ambitious growth rate targets, you’re probably stressed from thinking about all the open roles you need to fill this year - and fast. The solution? Employee referral programs. When utilized correctly, employee referrals are faster hires, are less costly, they onboard more quickly, have higher ROI, and are happier in their jobs.

Employee Referrals Ebook

Elevating Employee Referral Volume through Experiential Rewards

Read how “This Best Place to Work” boosted referral volume by 41%.

Build Employer Brand Ebook

Turn Employees Into Ambassadors

With the right tools and motivation, you can strengthen your employer brand with the help of your employees.

Employee Referral Program Blog

Benefits of Employee Referral Programs

Learn the reasons why an effective employee referral program can help companies with ambitious growth targets.


"I have to tell you that you have found the magic in making a company reward so much more meaningful than just getting a gift card or cash. I'll never forget the time we had at the Savage River Lodge and I'm so motivated to do more referrals for Tradeshift you wouldn't believe it."

David, Tradeshift

"The Blueboard experience was so much more memorable and exciting than a typical referral bonus! It was definitely an experience and a reward that I'll never forget!"

Katherine, Webcor

"The Blueboard award was a lot more meaningful to me than a cash bonus. It’s often said that experiences are a lot more memorable than things (aka, money) and Blueboard makes it easy."

Vinay, PureStorage

The Problem with Giving Cash Bonuses for Referrals

Despite many companies’ best efforts to incentivize employee referrals with cash bonuses, it’s still difficult to get employees to make them. Why is this? After all, everyone loves extra money, right? Turns out, the effects of monetary rewards are questionable. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely conducted an experiment where he measured the productivity of factory workers who were promised one of three rewards: pizza, compliments, or a cash bonus of $30. The results? The cash bonus group was the worst motivator (yes, pizza and a ‘thank you’ text from the boss resulted in higher productivity levels!) Also, over the course of the work week, the productivity of the workers who were promised a cash bonus plummeted, which ended up costing the company more money. In a separate study, Google also found that doubling its referral cash bonus prize from $2,000 to $4,000 didn’t affect its referral pipeline, which remained stagnant.

What Would Get Your Employees to Refer Top Talent?

When searching for incentive ideas, why not offer your employees the gift of an experience? People are ultimately fueled by belonging - connecting, sharing interests, and gathering with like-minded people and creating experiences is a great vehicle for helping others make connections. The results ring true as well: 79% of American & British adults value experiences more than material items (JWT Intelligence Study).

That’s where we come in. We’ve been helping our clients incentivize their employees that provide referrals with experiences that are memorable, personal, and shareable. In another Google example, they've found that giving their employees trips to Hawaii instead of a chance to win $1 million dollars contributed much more positively than cash incentives. The best referral programs offer incentives like this, which can cost as much as a typical cash reward yet mean much more to your employees. One of our customers - Guidewire - saw a 360% increase in referrals and a 40% increase in conversion to hire after shifting their referral program from focusing on cash rewards to experiences.  

We help companies reward employees with  everything from spa massages or facials, sailing lessons, concert tickets, weekend getaways, and more. There are other companies that handle employee incentives, however if you're a rewards and recognition administrator that wants to empower your people to live fulfilling, meaningful lives - providing experiences is the way to go.

Ready to learn more about Blueboard rewards? Schedule a quick demo:
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Justin referred a ton of candidates to Helix and won an experience of a lifetime.

In order to stimulate top of funnel activity, Helix partnered with Blueboard to run an exciting referral program offering bucket list travel experiences. In this case, Justin was awarded a Blueboard Emerald award and out of the many experiences, he decided to explore beautiful Alaska, traveling to Anchorage and Denali National Park. He loved his trip so much that he produced this gorgeous video that he shared back with Helix to broadcast internally (boosting buzz and program adoption)!

Incentivize your employees with rewards that work

Get inspired with tips and best practices for bringing employee referrals to life at your office

Employees prefer experiences

Why Employees Prefer
Experiential Incentives

2 in 3 employees prefer experiences to monetary rewards

steps to build an employer referral program

How to Build a Rewarding
Employee Referral Program

3 best practices for building a strong pipeline of referrals

Employer Brand Storytelling

How Shareable Experiences
Build a Positive Employer Brand

How to leverage employee content to tell your company story

Employee Referral Success Story

Team Growth from Referrals

Working with Blueboard helped Amplitude Analytics grow their workforce by 62%.

Our customer Amplitude Analytics recognizes its employees for any candidates that make it to the onsite interview stage, and for successful new hires. They’re a great example of using rewards to incentivize both mid-funnel activities, as well as successfully filling open roles. As a result of this program, the company grew from 200 employees to 323 since signing on over the past 12 months, which is around 62% growth.

Blueboard doesn't stop with employee referrals

There are many ways to reward with Blueboard

Anniversary Awards

Rewarding employee tenure on their anniversary dates, typically beginning at the 1-year mark and growing in reward value as they hit ongoing milestones. Forget the branded watches or golden plaques, experiences are proven to grow employee retention (97% of rewarded employees agree*).

*Source: Blueboard Internal Post-Experience Feedback Surveys, updated June 2016

Sales Contests & SPIFFs

Reward top sales reps or teams who exceed their quota expectations. 92% of employees reported increased motivation to perform after going on their Blueboard experiences, how’s that for keeping your sales team energized?*

*Source: Blueboard Internal Post-Experience Feedback Surveys, Updated June 2016

Spot Bonuses

Reward employees who exceed individual or team goals, KPIs, or other role-related milestone achievements. Blueboard experiences are inherently shareable, building excitement and appreciation as more employees across the company get rewarded.

Peer-Nominated Rewards

Enable peers to recognize each other after watching their colleagues go above and beyond or for demonstrating core company values.  Many Blueboard reward experiences include a +1, providing more opportunities for employees to share the love.

Employee Referral Incentives

Employee referrals make for the best hires, they’re faster, less expensive, and are quicker to ramp up into their roles**. Incentivize your FTEs with meaningful rewards to boost your referral numbers and quality of hires.

**Source:, 2015

Customer Appreciation

Similar to those from your employees, nothing beats a warm customer referral to help you grow your business.  Experiential rewards let you appreciate your trusted customers in a genuine, personalized way.

What is Blueboard?

Blueboard is the experiential employee rewards software platform for the modern workplace. We allow companies to reward their employees through a range of activities and experiences in a way that it is shareable, personal, and memorable. We reward employees nationwide and in 22+ international countries, with over hundreds of hand-curated experiential rewards. Our concierge team takes care of all the details, while our platform helps make benefits management easy, and data-centric. Talk to one of our Account Executives today and see how Blueboard can help you recognize your employees in a more meaningful way.

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Recognition inspirations on the Blog
Refer Blueboard, earn rewards!