For plenty of companies across the country, slogging through resumes and cover letters just isn’t the best way to hire. There are millions of job seekers sending their resumes out on the Web with the click of a button, and it’s resulting in too much spam for companies to sift through.

Increasingly, businesses are turning to an internal employee referral process to find great hires who fit their company culture and have the skills they need. But a problem arises when companies reach a dry spell in their employee referrals. Current employees stop sending in names, and HR managers are left with no leads to speak of.

The issue may have nothing to do with the quality of employee referrals themselves–it may lie in the company’s referral process. If companies want to ensure they’re continuing to draw in talented job candidates and make quality hires, they’ve got to start with identifying the issues. Your employee referral process may be flawed if:

Employees aren’t getting feedback. Too often, HR neglects to keep the current employee in the loop as to the status of the referred candidate’s application. This leaves the current employee feeling frustrated as to the quality of their referral and the chances of their candidate getting hired.

Candidates are ignored. If your HR department isn’t giving job candidates feedback on the status of their application, they’ll likely turn to the person who referred them to check. If the employee isn’t getting feedback either, it will leave both the candidate and the employee feeling frustrated at a lack of information.

The time to hire is too long. HR often takes months between the time of receiving names of job candidates and actually making a hire. This is enough time for a referred candidate to find another job, and for the current employee to lose incentive to make any referrals in the future.

Plenty of companies run into these problems–but it’s never too late to fix your employee referral process. Here are a few ways to start:

1. Offer small incentives. Current employees need to be rewarded for pointing HR to quality job candidates, or they’ll see no point in helping in the process. Give small gifts like T-shirts or even recognition at a staff meeting. Or, select a bigger prize, like a TV or tablet, and create a raffle for each employee who has made a referral.

2. Create a talent network. Employees want to feel like they’re a valuable part of the hiring process, so let them interact with potential candidates and HR staff. Create an open Facebook group to showcase your company culture–post videos, staff interviews, office snapshots, promotions, etc. Allow current employees to interact on the page and invite interested job candidates to join.

3. Use VIP channels. The steps above will help to drive employee referrals, but creating a VIP channel is what will actually create a quality candidate experience. Your company should create a referral channel to ensure employee referrals are kept separate from normal applications. This way, candidates and employees can gain feedback on any given application at any time. Feedback should always go to the candidate and the employee who referred them so everyone is in the loop.

If your employee referral process is displaying these key flaws, it’s not too late to fix them. Use these strategies to identify and improve your employee referral process, and you’ll come away with a hiring strategy that’s exponentially more focused and ultimately, successful.