Bosses are rewarding employees who refer friends and family for vacancies with a bonus that totals a whopping £16 billion.
This is the amount that has been forked out by companies keen to attract top talent and bypass the recruitment agencies.
TheCareerMole.com, a referral networking website, said that some 4.56 million employees are in their jobs thanks to family or friends. The average cash windfall to be expected by successful referrals is £3,495 with some taking home as much as £15,000. Bosses often pay more for senior jobs too.
According to the researchers, not only does referring benefit the finder but also the person netting the job. Seventy three per cent of people recruited in this way said their job role was everything they expected it to be. In contrast, almost one in three workers recruited by an agency reported that their role wasn’t what they had hoped for.
Kristian Hall, chief executive of TheCareerMole.com, said: “Companies know that they’re onto a good thing with employee referral schemes, and we believe that the number of referrals will rise substantially over the next 10 years as employers unlock the full potential of their employee referral scheme.”