Why are candidate referrals important? Picture this situation.
You have a deadline. Your project is due to be completed soon. You are still unsure of your candidate pool. Who can you call on to help you fill the position? Why not your previous hires?
The beauty of recruiting is that people are social. Even the most introverted people will have to collaborate with industry peers on projects occasionally.
Engineers know other engineers. Designers know other designers. X knows other X.
From any of the positions you have filled or helped to fill in the past – is there anyone that may fit the profile of the current job you are trying to fill. If not, do you know anyone in the industry who might know someone?
These are people you can call on to help you. Use their connections and social network to help source your employees. Before you begin cold-contacting random keyword-matching connections on LinkedIn, you need to do one thing: build relationships (or maintain them).
There is a law of reciprocation in the world. When you help other people, they will be much more likely to return the favor. Take advantage of this internal rule we all have.
For anyone who is looking to streamline their candidate sourcing, try the following:
Help other people whenever you can. Go out of your way to help other recruiters or agencies on their projects.
Be the connector of opportunity and relationships. If you know any recruiters that are looking for candidates, help them find one.
Maintain a connection and friendship with anyone who can assist you when you need it.
Stay in contact with your previous hires.
A lot of these things sound labor intensive, and no doubt they are. The benefits however, greatly outweigh the time investment.
It may appear rudimentary, but think of it like this. Who are you more likely to spend time helping; Your friend, or some random person who just sent you a message on LinkedIn?
Business is built around relationships. Recruiting is no different.
I’ve been able to streamline recruitment for my own personal hiring and find candidates in 20-100% less time, simply by maintaining my relationships. Rather than looking at a candidate as someone you are simply going to hire, look at them as a friend. Create a genuine relationship and help them with the transition.
Keep in contact with your previous hires. Be active in your community. Referrals can dramatically reduce the time it takes to source your candidates.
Lastly, the most important piece of advice I can give you comes from Mr. Dale Carnegie:
“You will win more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people, than you will in two years trying to get people interested in you.”
Everything else is a tactic. That piece of advice is a strategy. If you work on becoming focused on other people, rather than your own needs, they will become more interested in you.
Remember, when you have that tough deadline, you may need people to call on. Maintain your relationships and always have someone that can lend you a hand.
Set up your practice so that you can get candidate referrals like a friend.
About the Author: Connor Ondriska is a young entrepreneur and CMO of AgentFire.com. When he’s not grinding to help grow AgentFire, you’ll find him hard at work writing about business, psychology and leadership.