These days, it’s all about referrals. in fact, they are the highest percentage of hires for companies. There are companies out there that have the sole purpose of helping companies with referral strategies. And these companies are onto something. If your company doesn’t have any sort of internal or external referral fee in place, then you need to meet with your HR and Talent department right after you finish this article. But this article isn’t just about that, it’s about how to always keep referrals at the front of your mind.
InMails, Emails, and Outreach, Oh My!
You reach out to someone via LinkedIn, email, text and they respond saying they are happy where they are or they don’t want to relocate, so you respond with a thank you and tell them to enjoy the rest of their week. That’s typical. But what you should also add to that response is something along the lines of, “And if you know anyone who might be a fit, feel free to give them my information.” A prospect isn’t going to really be thinking about their friends, family, colleagues, people in their network when you reach out to them. But if you at least light the candle for them, this will ignite something in them and then they remember, “Oh, yeah. I actually have a previous colleague who was just laid off and this would be a great opportunity for them.” I would recommend not asking about referrals in your initial outreach. Prospects want to feel like you are reaching out to them for the role and nobody else. It loses its touch when you add something like, “And if you’re not interested who do you know?”
By now, most companies have some sort of internal referral program. When a new role opens, a company might just wait for some internals to apply for a week or so before the role goes to externals. Companies encourage their employees to refer people they know to vacant roles. A Marketing Supervisor role opens up, so you ask the Marketing Assistant and Marketing Manager who they might know for the role. But this doesn’t always do the trick. Referral fees do. People love incentives. And this doesn’t always mean getting your neighbor to come work at your company. If you offer a little extra money to your employees to help fill a job, you will receive more referrals than ever before. People will really start digging into their network, as a bonus check could help them out with some bills or maybe pay off a credit card.
External referrals can be a great way to get hires. And if you have an external referral fee, you will get even more people hired this way. You can post on your LinkedIn and social about it or mention it when a prospect tells you they aren’t interested in joining your company at the time. They way I put this: “Do you want to make $500 just for mentioning someone’s name?” Say you reach out to someone and they aren’t interested. You tell them, “If you know of anyone, feel free to give them my contact information. Oh, and if someone you refer is hired here, we’ll send you a check.” Why wouldn’t the person want to tap into their network? That’s a pretty strong incentive right there. This can be tricky, legally, but it can be worth it getting one of these going.
Did you know that 22% of adult couples in the United States met at work? And that 28% of couples met their significant other in college? What does this tell you? Well, it tells you that there are millions and millions of people in the country that are in the same industry as their significant other. Whether they work in different departments or studied the same thing, many prospects out there have a significant other that can help you fill another role. This is a great strategy when it comes to relocating people. I work in the Pharma industry and a lot of the roles offer relocation. When talking to someone for one of my roles, they will sometimes mention their spouse also being in the same industry. This could turn one hire into two. Whether they work the same role or separate ones, I might be able to find them both jobs. This also works in other industries like veterinary and finance.
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Looking at References on a Resume
Many people add references to their resumes. They know that a Recruiter is going to ask about them at some point in the process, so they just add them to their resume. Because of this, when you Source someone for say a Production Supervisor role, they may list their name and contact information for the Production Manager at their company. If you’re also hiring for more senior-level Automation people, now you have another person to go off. You can also source this way. You could use a search engine and look for something like, inurl:resume “production supervisor” AND references. This search will bring up a lot of direct Production Supervisors, but it also brought up Production Technicians who list their Supervisors on their resumes and now you have new names and contact information for people.
Networking with Other Sourcers
You can also network with other Sourcers and Recruiters to see who they know of. If you work for an automotive company in Michigan and you only hire for that location, you will reach out to plenty of people who don’t want to relocate. Say you reach out to a prospect who is looking, but not looking to leave the area they reside in. Well, you might know of a Sourcer or Recruiter who is hiring for that area and you can now give them that referral, This can also work in reverse ways. You can reach out to these Sourcers and Recruiters and see if they know of anyone looking for something in Michigan. Sourcers and Recruiters should definitely be doing more of this and could easily fill a few roles a little faster this way.