This firm hires a majority of its talent through referrals alone!

The firm claims 100 per cent internal hiring with almost 70 per cent referral hires


MoEngage, a customer-engagement platform has shifted its entire recruitment process to 100 per cent internal hiring. A majority of these hires come through employee referrals. The Company confirms that, currently, almost 60 to 70 per cent of all hiring in India is happening through referrals. While 10 to 15 per cent hiring through referrals is considered a win, this firm has actually managed to exceed existing industry norms!

The firm has an effective employee-referral programme in place, which is called the Talent Ambassadors Programme. Jitender Panihar, global head-people and culture, MoEngage, says that the numbers were quite different a year ago. A higher percentage of hiring took place through vendors.

Jitender Panihar

“The reason why we are different and have an unusual presence is because of the practices we have been able to innovate and our increased focus on building culture, communication and employee recognition.”

Right after, the Company focussed a lot on building the culture and its Talent Ambassadors Programme, post which it was able to move up the numbers for internal hires to 60 per cent of the total. Currently, 100 per cent of the hiring is taking place through internal efforts. This is a positive change, which has come about after the lockdown was imposed and the employees moved to the work-from-home mode.

Just as any other organisation, MoEngage wanted to focus on hiring through referrals for reasons such as longevity of talent retention, quality of hiring and saving costs on external hiring through vendors. It managed to break the norms and stand apart from others in the industry. “The reason why we are different and have an unusual presence is because of the practices we have been able to innovate and our increased focus on building culture, communication and employee recognition,” says Panihar.

Culture and employee experience

It is natural for employees to hesitate to refer a candidate for any role in the company if they themselves do not believe in the company’s culture, or if the company fails to be a good place to work, no matter what benefits are offered to the employees for their referrals. Panihar mentions that their first move was to spend a lot of time on building the culture in the Company, which is critical to ensure a great employee-referral programme. Only a great culture can influence the employee experience.

Clear, consistent communication

The second factor was consistency and clarity in communication. Any process, once created, needs to to be communicated to the employees in a regular and clear manner.


The third factor is to motivate people to refer. Panihar believes that the fact that MoEngage recognises the efforts of the employees who contribute successful referrals has been crucial in pushing them to work harder in their roles. Apart from a cash reward for successful referrals, all talent ambassadors who bring in referrals get recognised at a company-wide level every quarter, as ‘MoEngage Ambassadors’ for the quarter. They win additional gifts, such as a smartphone or a smartwatch. The person who brings in the maximum number of referrals in a year wins a fully-funded international trip. All these rewards get processed only if the referred employee completes three months in the organisation.

“It is a proud moment for the employees and they become role models for others as well. They are not merely referring profiles, they are actually helping to build the organisation,” adds Panihar. These three components were the crucial factors, apart from their social media and employer-branding efforts, in building a successful employee referral programme.

The People and Culture department at MoEngage has been striving to make work from home easier and engaging for its employees during the lockdown, with some interesting initiatives.

Financial empowerment: The Company changed the salary pay-out date from the 31st to the 25th of every month to ensure that the employees have sufficient funds and are empowered both financially and mentally. The pandemic has turned the financial states of people upside down and this was the Company’s effort to support their people.

Appreciation Week at MoEngage: In order to recognise their employees for their work during the lockdown, the Company introduced the Appreciation Week at MoEngage, where individuals can call out anyone’s efforts and appreciate anyone in the Company regardless of team, hierarchy or location.

The Inspire Hour @ MoEngage: This initiative is a series of short talks or demonstrations on a variety of topics, presented by external speakers from different fields. The Company claims it to be its own version of Ted Talks, planned on a fortnightly basis. The firm has had two interesting sessions for this initiative, one with professional mountaineers, Sauraj Jhingan and Samir Nicholas Patham who scaled the Everest in 2018; and another one with Stu Lloyd, celebrated Australian author and bestseller, on his travel tales. These have been received well by the employees who consider these sessions as a much-needed source of inspiration and a good break from the monotony of work.

Small Talk: The Company put out a series of social-media posts featuring employees discussing remote work challenges and their life during the lockdown, in an initiative called Small Talk. The focus was to bring out individual stories on how people are tackling the lockdown. The Company also ran a voluntary contribution programme towards the COVID-19 efforts. This was a move suggested by the employees themselves, and all the funds so gathered were shared with the Government.

Other activities include, a monthly townhall and all-hands meeting with leadership; monthly 1-on-1 meetings with the employees by the people and culture team; weekly pictionary sessions, treasure hunts, beg-borrow-steal and quizzes; coffee conversations and Fam-Jam connects with employees and their families. All these initiatives have gone a long way in making the Company a fun and engaging place to work, and boosting employee advocacy for the Company.

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

fourteen − 8 =