Month: October 2021

How to Start a VIP Referral Program



By Jeff Wach, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Building an Effective Referral Program

Does your company have a referral program for new hires?

Referrals are by far the preferred source of new hires. Your employees know the culture. They know who will be a good fit. However, having a referral program isn’t enough. It has to be effective. How do you do that?

Follow the VIP Referral Program.


First, the program needs to be VALUED. A $20 gift card will not get the results you are looking for. Think of the money you would normally spend to recruit a quality employee. A referral program needs to be worth the effort. Don’t be afraid of increasing the amount for more difficult, hard-to-find positions.


Second, your program needs to be INCREMENTAL. You want to reward longevity! So perhaps give $100 when they start and $400 after 6 months of employment.


Third, to get the most bang for your buck, it should be given in PUBLIC. At one of your company-wide meetings, call the person up and pay out the bonus (preferably in cash) right there in front of everyone! Make it clear to everyone that the program actually pays!

There you have it. The VIP Referral ProgramValuedIncremental, and Public.

How does your program measure up? Contact us today to set up a proper referral program.

Frankenstein: An HR Horror Story



By Jeff Wach, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there lived an HR manager who was searching for THE perfect candidate. She read dozens of resumes, made numerous phone calls, and conducted plenty of interviews.

However, no matter how hard she tried, she never found perfection. She came across bits of it here and there – a perfect degree, a perfect prior job, a perfect title – but never a complete perfect candidate.

Then one day she had a brilliant idea. She could make her own! The degree from candidate A, the experience of candidate B, and the title of candidate C! She could do this! It would work! She took the pieces & parts she wanted from all her candidates and began to mold them into her perfect candidate.

She was excited! It was working! She found the knowledge, skills, and abilities she was looking for! In all her excitement, however, she overlooked the “ugly” parts. Blinded by a deadline, she ignored the scars. Personality traits were “good enough”, cultural fit “could be learned”. Performance proof could wait. References? Why bother? She had achieved PERFECTION!

A quick offer letter later and EUREKA! IT LIVES! The perfect candidate is now AN EMPLOYEE! She was a genius!

And they lived happily ever after.

Well, almost.

For the next 3 weeks, life was good. The HR manager was able to get back to work. No more crazy recruiting stuff taking up her time. Back to all her other duties she set aside while building her creation.

Then, it happened. In hindsight, she shouldn’t have been so surprised to pull into her parking lot and see her entire staff with pitchforks and torches!

“GIVE US THE MONSTER!” they cried.

She was heartbroken. She did all of that work for nothing. So, after she convinced everyone to put down their pitchforks and get back to work, and she allowed Frankenstein to move on and terrorize someone else’s company.

She had to face reality. Ideal candidates are not created, they are discovered. They can only be found through a solid, in-depth, performance-based hiring process.


How Recruiting Employees is Like Buying a Car

blue car in the street

blue car in the street

By Jeff Wach, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

KPIs and Job Descriptions

I’ve talked about bringing Key Performance Indicators (KPI) from a job description to the beginning of the recruiting process. Why the beginning?

In “Alice in Wonderland”, Alice receives some unusual but wise advice from the Cheshire Cat: “If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there”. Likewise, if you don’t define success in a given role, then any candidate can fill it.

How Recruitment is like Buying a Car

To illustrate how KPI works….

Think back to the last car you bought. You had a list of needs and wants. You also had performance expectations, or KPI, in mind. Things like speed, handling, towing capacity, or gas mileage.

For example, if towing capacity was on your list, you might look for a pick-up truck. But if gas mileage was important, you would need something a bit smaller. So let’s say MPG is going to be your KPI. But that’s not enough. You also need a minimum level of performance to look for. The KPI is how we measure, but we need an acceptable minimum. A passing grade.

You do your calculations and determine that 25 MPG is your minimum standard. Great! Let’s go shopping! You find a car and ask the dealer what the MPG is. And he says “I dunno.” “What?” you say.

“Well, it should be able to get about 25 MPG.” Replies the dealer. “What do you mean should?” you reply. “Well, based on the size of the engine and the weight of the car, it should be able to get about 25 MPG. Why? What’s the problem?”

Would you buy that car? Of course not! Who would spend $20,000 or $30,000 on something that should perform? But that is exactly what we do every time we hire someone based solely on a resume. You see – the resume tells us they should be able to do the job. It tells us if they have the potential to be successful. But how many people are let go that should have been able to succeed? People that should have been able to do the job?

Let’s go back to the car.

How Potential is Different from Proven Results

What if the car salesman said, “Based on extensive research, this car has been tested and proven to achieve an average of 27.3 MPG.” Now we have a match. Now we know that the car has been tested and proven to meet our criteria!

So while a resume tells us they have the potential to be successful, the KPI gives us precise measurement tools to use as we test the candidate during the interview process and prove the results when we verify them during reference checks. We want to be assured they have been successful in the past and can do so again at your company.

To learn about Recruiting for Soft Skills, read this blog. 

Lessons from Back To School Season

back to school

back to school

By Jeff Wach, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Academic Performance Reviews

When we were in school, it wasn’t enough to just show up. Sure, we may have received a Perfect Attendance Award and been the teacher’s favorite, but that wasn’t going to get us to pass! We had to do homework and take tests. And based on our performance completing measurable tasks, we got a grade. That grade determined our future.

To help us stay on target, we got a report card each quarter letting us know where we stood. No surprises. Our teachers wanted us to pass. They wanted us to succeed. They made it clear that extra help was always available if we asked for it. Every effort was made to help us get top grades and pass with flying colors. Some of my best teachers even told us upfront how our grades were determined! 70% on tests, 20% on quizzes, and 10% on homework. We knew where we stood. Our grade, good or bad, was on us. And we had no excuses.

Dangers in Assumptions

Fast forward to being an adult in business and it seems we forgot how to clearly communicate expectations. All too often we assume. We assume the person knows how to do their job because we hired someone with “experience”. We assume they know the level of performance we expect at our company, even though we never spelled it out for them. We assume they know to ask for help if they need it, but our culture labels those who need help as weak.

The Importance of Communication

It’s really not that difficult. Define what makes a person successful in their role. Tell them how their performance will be measured. Give them a goal to reach for. Let them know how they’re doing. Make it clear how they can get help if they need it. No surprises. Clear communication. A culture of learning.

Want to learn about how we can help your business? See what makes TripleTrack HR Partners different, here.