First Names Group is pleased to announce it has won ‘Best Employee Referral Programme’ in the 2017 FIRM Awards, following last night’s awards ceremony in London.

As an organisation First Names Group places particular emphasis on the quality of its people – not just because it is a service-driven business, but also because its so-called ‘First Names’ directly shape its company culture and people-focused brand.

The idea that the Group’s own people would be best placed to identify potential recruits was formed in 2015, when the newly established Talent team took a hard look at their recruitment processes and ways to improve Group-wide recruitment success. Following a number of focus groups and brainstorming sessions, it was realised that there was a largely untapped resource in the form of current ‘First Names’ and their professional networks. Consequently, the First Names Referral Programme was born.

The referral scheme, which offers financial rewards to current employees for successfully referring a new recruit to the business, has gone from strength to strength since it launched in August 2015 (with a creative internal campaign developed by award-winning London agency, Tonic). Employee referrals grew dramatically from 5% to 33%. At the time of award submission, the programme had generated a total of 113 referrals from nine of the Group’s locations; 48 of which had since converted into quality ‘First Names’ across all levels, from director to trainee administrator.

The FIRM, run by in-house recruiters for in-house recruiters, is a supportive and collaborative community of corporate recruitment professionals with nearly 8,500 members across 71 countries. The FIRM Awards were established in 2013 to celebrate the very best of in-house recruitment excellence, innovation and best practice.

With a tableful of ‘First Names’ present for the occasion, the award was picked up by the Group’s Chief HR Officer, Teresa Lamy, and Head of Talent Management, Helen Baxter. Helen commented:

“I was absolutely delighted when we were shortlisted for this award and now I’m even more delighted that we’ve won! It is a real testament to how far we have come over the past couple of years in terms of our recruitment strategy and approach. Having joined the business in 2015 I’ve thoroughly enjoyed driving the development and roll-out of the First Names Referral Programme. Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, and to the high calibre of referrals from our amazing First Names, I’m proud to say that the programme is making a big difference to recruitment across the Group. Having our efforts recognised with this award is the icing on the cake!”