Your Employee Referral Program will be the next Candy Crush

Ibrahim Moustaine - 3 min read

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Making your employees active as referrers can be a big challenge but it shouldn't. Candy Crush is by far the most popular smartphone app in the last decade. It has over 270 million players from which 9 million play more than 3 hours every day. What if your employee referral program was as successful?

Your Employee Referral Program will be the next Candy Crush blog logo

1 – Why is Candy Crush so successful?

When analyzing the game, you can quickly pick up on the gamification elements. These are all the levels, badges, points, etc. The goal of gamification is to make users "addicted" and make them come back to engage more. Within Nakama's platform, we use those same gamification elements. When an employee refers someone they receive points that can then be exchanged into cash. You can also identify your Top Referrers (check out this article) within the platform. These are all the elements that make a platform "addictive" and thus make people come back for more. Your employees will then also know who the Top Referrers are within the company and aspire to become like them.

nakama platform screenshot

This is a screenshot of the Nakama platform where companies can decide how much they reward. This also allows you to activate or deactivate certain steps that you deem unnecessary. As an administrator you also chose how much 1 point is worth in your local currency. From there you can give your employees the amounts your desire.

2 – Use the right communication

Talking to your employees and knowing what they want to hear is very important. This should be the basis of your strategy. Bringing out content that they can then share will increase the activity and get you more referrals. If you have no idea how to do is, you can check this blog article with downloadable templates.

You should also try to figure out what the main motivator of your employees is. There are many reasons for someone to refer but they all have one thing in common, recognition. Your employees want to feel valued after they have successfully referred someone. This can be done in many ways but the most popular bonus will always be cash.

According to, around 80% of companies give out a cash bonus after a successful referral. The amount rewarded depends on the company and the type of job. We offer the possibility for companies to offer points at 5 different stages of the referral (1 point = 1 $ when the referred person is interviewed and 500$ when hired).

reference to

3 – Keep the motivation going

When a company is looking for a new recruit, they receive numerous referrals but they can't hire everyone. This means that some of your employees will see their referral being rejected and this could very well demotivate them for future referrals. How do you solve this issue? By giving out points during different stages of the referral, you allow more people to be rewarded for their efforts and thus keep the motivation going. This comes down to recognition.

An example: a reward of 10 $ when the referred person is interviewed and 500 $ when hired.

Another side-effect of this gamification is the fact that it will create competition amongst your employees, just like Candy Crush. Everyone will want to become a Top Referrer and there is only one way to do so, refer the right people. By applying this strategy, the referral incentive will last longer and will create a snowball effect where more people will want to get involved to become the best.

Now that you know how Candy Crush got their success and how it can be applied to your employee referral program, you can get started.

foto ibrahim

About the Author

Ibrahim Moustaine is the Growth Marketer within Nakama