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Poach your friends - and get paid

Cash incentives to staff to recruit friends and former colleagues are increasingly popular way to attract more staff, contractors and consultants told NCE this week.

Both consultant Halcrow and contractor Bovis Lend offer up to £5000 for recruits with skills that are in short supply.

Bovis Lend Lease increased their amount in October from £1,500 to £5,000 and has had a positive response.

"We have had around 200 people referred since October," said Bovis Lend Lease head of resourcing Mel Williams.

"Not all of these have been successful, but it is a considerable increase."

Atkins offer between £1,000 and £3,000 for recruits that have specific skills or who take up hard to fill roles and said that it has awarded £180,000 in the last twelve months.

Mouchel offer a referral fee of 5% of the applicants annual salary, but this is capped at £2,000 and a number of other firms approached by NCE this week confirmed that they ran a referral scheme with rewards of between £1,000 and £1,500.

"At a time when recruitment is expensive, it means that companies don't have to go through the costly advertising process and gives employees a warm feeling," said an Association for Consultancy and Engineering spokesman.

"It's not something unusual and it's not just in our sector. The point is the best advocate for a company is normally someone that works at it."

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