Lyft Shares Tips on Building a Referral Network

June 3, 2014 at 8:37 AM by Kathleen de Lara

lyftThere’s a reason the pink mustache evokes a warm feeling of familiarity and security. Whether it's the fist bumps, free water and gum, or the decked out disco rides, when was the last time you remember having a good time getting from Point A to Point B with a stranger?

Actually, don't answer that.

Lyft, the popular San Francisco-based rideshare company, is made up of a team of top talent that knows a thing or two about great customer service on four wheels. Founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer in 2012, the company has established itself as one of the front runners of the peer-to-peer driving community, and operates in over 60 cities including San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.

We spoke with Amy Zuckerman, a recruiter at Lyft, to find out a little more about the company's hiring techniques, specifically, their employee referral program. Don't forget to join us for the full discussion in next week's webinar!

Entelo: Hi Amy! Would you share some background on yourself and some of your duties as a recruiter for Lyft?

Amy-Zuckerman-250x250Amy: A little about me: I worked at Microsoft and Dropbox prior to joining Lyft about 7 months ago. I joined Lyft because I'm a huge believer in the community we're building. Outside of work, you can either find me at a concert, singing karaoke, or hanging out with my Corgi, Margo.

How many recruiters are on your team? When did the team start its referral program?

There are six of us on our team. We launched our referral program in June 2013 as we were gearing up for some massive growth, and so far, we've made about 35% of our hires through referral channels.

What are some hiring benefits you’ve noticed come directly out of building a great referral network?

Referrals are consistently a trusted and vetted source of qualified candidates, and there's a higher likelihood for success once referred candidates join an organization.

Referral networks provide an additional filter for the right cultural fit (whatever that may be for your company) and it also offers additional data and context outside of just the interview process. We've noticed that closing candidates tends to be easier for candidates who have come through referral channels because there are more existing relationships to leverage.

We've also found that referrers who pass on referrals tend to be excited about what they're working on, proud of where they work, and have a vested interest in staying around longer if they've been involved in bringing people in to the company.

Any tips on how recruiters can get started with their employee referral program?

Get your key influencers within your organization on board with the program. Broadcast it in the right way and be sure to consistently educate and remind employees about any incentive programs you may have in place. Team meetings, all hands, internal wikis and onboarding sessions are all good channels to help get the word out.

What are a few misconceptions recruiters have when it comes to hiring in general? What obstacles will today's recruiters need to overcome to keep up with what candidates are seeking in an opportunity?

These are some of the biggest challenges in sourcing that I face:

  • Engaging with a candidate at the right time. So much of sourcing is about timing and it's difficult to pinpoint when candidates are ready to consider new opportunities or not.
  • It's a numbers game. (I'm sure all recruiters can empathize with this one.) There's a ton of effort and candidate generation that needs to happen in order to get positive responses from prospects.
  • Identifying what specifically motivates candidates. It's hard to figure out what candidates are motivated by through their online profiles, and this makes it a challenge to find the right way to engage with candidates.

Why should recruiters and other talent acquisition pros join us for the webinar?

I'm always a fan of hearing other people's stores and sharing best practices, and joining in on this webinar will be a good chance to hear some more stories :)

Learn more about Lyft's strategies for finding and engaging qualified candidates — all by hiring from within and making the most out of the resources they already have. employee referral program