13 Best Employee Referral Software to Streamline Your Recruitment Process

Employee referral software has become an invaluable tool for companies looking to tap into the power of their employee networks to source quality talent faster. Studies show referred candidates get hired faster, have higher retention rates, and help significantly reduce recruiting costs.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover:

  • Key benefits of employee referral programs
  • Must-have features in referral software
  • The top 13 employee referral software solutions on the market
  • Best practices for implementing a successful referral program
  • Tips for choosing the right software for your needs

The Case for Employee Referral Software

Higher Quality Hires

Referred candidates come vetted and are more likely to be a culture add for the company. According to CareerBuilder, referred employees stay longer too – about 45% longer compared to non-referred hires.

Referred employees tend to stay longer at companies

Cost Savings

With automated tracking, referral software eliminates manual processes enabling recruiters to focus on high-impact tasks. According to recruiting expert Lou Adler, referral hiring yields 3x the productivity per recruiter.

Moreover, companies save significantly on lowered cost per hire. According to research by iCIMS:

  • Average cost to hire via job boards: $1,670
  • Average cost to hire via social media ads: $1,280
  • Average cost to hire via employee referrals: $130

Higher Candidate Engagement

Referrals signal social proof and lend credibility for open roles. Referral software makes applying and tracking status effortless for candidates via branded microsites and mobile apps. This facilitates higher engagement from interested candidates.

Boosts Employer Brand

A well-run employee referral program reinforces positive perceptions about your employer brand. It signals that current employees are sufficiently satisfied to enthusiastically refer friends to work here as well!

By incentivizing referrals and enabling simple tools to share openings, you encourage employees to become authentic brand advocates as well.

Key Capabilities in Referral Software

While basic referral management can be manual, dedicated software takes it to the next level with automation, seamless integrations and rich analytics.

Here are some must-have capabilities:

Referral Portals: Branded portals and microsites make it easy to refer candidates from anywhere – via mobile devices, social media, email, etc.

Referral software needs to be mobile-friendly

Candidate Tracking: Centralized interface to track all applications end-to-end, communication with referrers/candidates and monitor referral performance.

Workflows: Pre-configured workflows for review, feedback, interview scheduling and status updates to maintain engagement.

Integrations: Deep integrations with existing HRIS, ATS and recruitment stack critical for seamless experience.

Compliance: Adheres to regulations around data privacy, security and compliance rules.

Analytics: Actionable analytics to identify best sources, rewards efficacy, program adoption levels and optimize incentives.

Automation: Auto collection of referrals from employee profiles and networks saves significant manual effort in sourcing.

Gamification: Points systems, leaderboards fostering healthy competition leading to increased participation from employees.

Next let‘s a look at 13 of the top employee referral software platforms on the market.

13 Best Employee Referral Software Solutions

1. Recruitee

Recruitee is a popular applicant tracking system trusted by over 6000 companies globally. It‘s modular platform offers advanced capabilities for each stage of hiring.

The Recruitee ReferralsHub brings all referral management features together under one umbrella. Gamification keeps employees engaged via real-time points tracking and leaderboards.

Notable Features

  • Dedicated mobile apps make referring on-the-go effortless
  • Managers can track participation and performance by team/department
  • Advanced analytics around program efficacy and adoption

Use Cases

Recruitee ReferralsHub is great for both fast-growing companies and enterprises. The software scales to any team size seamlessly.

Recruitee Leaderboard


ERIN takes a mobile-first approach allowing employees to refer candidates within 30 seconds from anywhere. The software has an intuitive interface requiring minimal training.

Advanced workflows keep all stakeholders updated through the process via notifications and reminders. Managers can track individual participation levels to further boost engagement.

Notable Features

  • Referring requires just basic contact info – no need for resumes
  • Powerful matching algorithms surface best candidates
  • Tight integration with Outlook and Gmail for seamless adoption

Use Cases

ERIN works for companies across verticals given its intuitive interface and easy onboarding. Especially useful for deskless employees.

3. Freshteam

Freshteam is a user-friendly cloud-based ATS by Freshworks. Beyond recruiting capabilities, it provides extensive employee management functionality.

The referral portal is simple allowing employees to share openings via email, Facebook or text with a few easy clicks.

Notable Features

  • Custom referral quotas and goals by department
  • Automatic reminders for pending actions
  • Seamless integration with Freshdesk (for support)

Use Cases

Freshteam offers comprehensive talent management for small to mid-sized organizations looking to consolidate tools.

4. Workable

Workable is one of the most popular ATS platforms serving 6000+ recruitment teams globally.

Beyond a full-featured ATS, Workable also provides extensive functionality around employee referrals including deep analytics. It incentivizes employees by displaying individual performance stats.

Notable Features

  • Custom referral site and application workflows
  • Automated triggers based on application status
  • Rich analytics for every stage

Use Cases

Workable is great for fast-growing companies and centralized HR teams that need an end-to-end recruitment system with referral automation built-in.

5. Teamable

Teamable offers an enterprise grade "Talent CRM" consolidating all candidate pipelines and talent pools across the organization.

The embedded intelligent referral engine makes it easy to track and manage referrals from employees, external networks or even customers.

Notable Features

  • Integrated talent network management
  • Automated notifications and reminders
  • Analytics to optimize incentives

Use Cases

Larger enterprises with vast external networks benefit the most from Teamable‘s extensive relationship management capabilities.

6. Hireology

Hireology is an end-to-end HR platform tailored for high-volume hiring environments. Automotive, retail healthcare industries are common customers.

It offers advanced algorithms matching candidates with open jobs. Referrers and applicants stay updated automatically through the process via text messages or email.

Notable Features

  • Custom Branded Referral Portal
  • Automated communication workflows
  • Deep analytics for every stage

Use Cases

Hireology is purpose built for enterprise-grade, high volume recruiting typical for retail chains, dealership networks and franchises.

7. Jobvite

Jobvite is one of the most complete talent acquisition platforms in the market. Beyond referrals, recruiters get access to ATS, CRM, compliance tools, interview scheduling and more.

Employees can easily refer candidates via social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The software centralizes all applications coming through various channels.

Notable Features

  • Tight integration with popular HR/IT software
  • Automated workflows with custom rules
  • Robust analytics for improving conversions

Use Cases

Enterprise companies with large recruitment teams benefit from Jobvite‘s extensive capabilities managing reqs across geo/divisions and complex compliance needs.

8. Vouch

Vouch is a referral-focused platform streamlining end-to-end referral hiring. Customized branded portals make it simple for employees to submit candidate details or share listings.

Automatic notifications keep employees updated on their referral‘s status through the hiring process. The intuitive interface minimizes training needed allowing quick time-to-value.

Notable Features

  • Candidate management tools
  • Automated review workflows with standardized feedback
  • Customized referral invites and landing pages

Use Cases

Great for small to medium businesses looking to quickly implement lightweight referral software, especially distributed teams allowing mobile-based referral flows.

9. SmashFly

SmashFly offers advanced capabilities facilitating employee referrals as part of their comprehensive Recruitment Marketing Platform.

Beyond automated referral functionality, recruiters can leverage personalized talent communities, AI-matching and profiles automatically extracted from resumes uploaded by candidates.

Notable Features

  • Talent community management and sourcing
  • Out-of-the-box integration with leading HRIS and ATS systems
  • Intelligent profile extraction from resumes

Use Cases

Smashfly reduces sourcing efforts drastically for recruitment marketing and HR teams through intelligent automation across various talent channels.

10. Talentry

Talentry is a popular applicant tracking and recruitment marketing solution in Europe. Companies can create microsites for individual business units or teams allowing customized referral initiatives.

Employees are motivated to participate via individual statistics and automated notifications on referral status. It seamlessly integrates with multiple HR systems.

Notable Features

  • Automated talent pooling from career site conversions
  • Track application volume and referral rates by team
  • Custom landing pages for different business units

Use Cases

Talentry works well for mid-market & rapidly scaling companies with team specific hiring needs across different regions and channels.

11. Entelo

Entelo offers advanced AI-based talent search allowing recruiters to automatically source referral candidates from employee connections on platforms like LinkedIn and Github.

Conversion tracking reports help optimize job postings and strengthen employer brand. Entelo integrates tightly with existing HR tech stack including ATS and HRIS systems.

Notable Features

  • Automated talent search and matching algorithms
  • Track pipeline growth and conversion rates
  • GDPR and regulatory compliance

Use Cases

Entelo reduces sourcing burden through AI enabling recruiters to scale hiring efforts rapidly across regions and seniority levels.

12. Lever

Lever is a modern ATS focused on collaboration and intelligence. Recruiters can easily track candidates from any source – including employees via the easy referrals interface.

All stakeholders have complete visibility and stay updated on status via notifications and reminders. Custom links make it simple for employees to refer via email or chat tools.

Notable Features

  • Automated candidate re-engagement triggers
  • Customized referral links for easy sharing
  • Integration with email and calendar tools

Use Cases

Lever works well for both fast-growing tech companies and enterprise employers seeking collaboration tools beyond traditional HR software systems.

13. BambooHR

BambooHR offers a modern HR platform designed for SMBs. While primarily an HRIS system with extensive employee data management features, it also provides lightweight referral management capabilities.

Employees get notifications automatically as their referral progresses through the hiring workflow. The system can track referral metrics allowing optimization of rewards and spend.

Notable Features

  • Simple 2-click referrals from employee profiles
  • Track applications received via various channels
  • Seamless integrations with other HR tools

Use Cases

BambooHR works well for small & medium businesses focused mainly on HR digitization but with need for light-weight referral automation.

Making Your Referral Program Successful

Having the right software in place makes launching a referral initiative easier. Here are some other tips for maximizing success:

Educate Employees
Conduct training workshops explaining the benefits of the program both for employees and the broader organization. Provide easy FAQs explaining the rewards and metrics used for tracking effectiveness.

Promote Opportunities
Leverage email campaigns, intranet portals, skype/slack communities and town halls to regularly promote live job openings best suited for referrals.

Recognize Top Referrers
Publish performance leaderboards and recognize top referring employees through monetary rewards as well as privileges like extra vacation days or special gifts.

Track ROI
Measure metrics like applications per opening, cost per referral, time-to-hire for referrals etc. to showcase efficiency gains and continually refine the referral program.

Key Considerations for Choosing Software

Carefully evaluate your needs, existing systems in use, budget and scalability requirements before choosing an employee referral system.

Here are some key considerations:

User Experience
Software needs to provide a streamlined experience for all user types – recruiters, employees, referred applicants and hiring managers.

Current Tech Stack
Integrating deeply with your ATS and HRIS is vital to ensure minimal disruption for talent acquisition teams.

Mobile Capabilities
In today‘s world, a mobile-friendly interface is a must have given employees switch between devices and platforms.

Reporting & Analytics
The ability to track detailed metrics across channels and stakeholders provides vital visibility enabling data-driven decisions.

Given the breadth of solutions available, have clear visibility into pricing models (per user/requisition) and total costs based on your hiring volumes before purchasing.

As teams and hiring needs grow, the system should be able to scale seamlessly without needing migrations down the line.

Ease of Use
Minimal training and change management ensures high user adoption critical for reaping the benefits sooner rather than later.

The Future of Referrals is Automated

Employee referrals have come a long way from manual excel sheets and informal peer-to-peer outreach for open roles.

Sophisticated software solutions offered today combine intelligent automation, seamless collaboration and deep analytics to make running referral initiatives easier than ever while delivering outstanding ROI.

Artificial Intelligence promises to further enhance the power of referrals for recruitment teams. As algorithms get smarter in targeting talent more precisely and workflows more automated, referral software is slated to offer even more strategic value going forward.

What are your experiences with leveraging employee referrals? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!