Updated August 10, 2023
Employee Referrals Meaning
Employee referrals are a recruitment method in which current company employees refer their friends, family members, or acquaintances to apply for job openings within their organization. The referrals can arrive from various sources, such as social media, professional networks, or personal contacts.
Introduction to Employee Referrals Meaning
- Employee referrals universally enjoy a high success rate.
- Almost 60% of employees in a company refer at least one person a year. This is especially fruitful for leadership and senior management positions.
- Employee referrals make economic sense to everybody. This is how it works:
- It costs a company much less to source candidates from employee referral advantages.
- It sure beats the employee referrals expense of fancy advertisements to attract the right talent.
- It’s also way cheaper than working with headhunters and recruiting firms.
- So companies will offer their employees a part of these savings through an “employee referrals bonus” program. Often, this also doubles up as a loyalty program.
- Lured by the financial incentives involved, employees happily refer their friends, family, etc., for open positions, inviting like-minded folks to join them at work. This brings more harmony at work and increases employee satisfaction, professional relationships, and retention.
- The employees already have an “in” into the company’s psyche. Hence, they’re more likely to refer individuals who easily fit into the company’s culture, vision, future roadmap, etc. Conversely, people trust and believe their friends and associates (who refer them) over headhunters (essentially strangers) and are more likely to accept employee referral offers.
Employee referrals offer a win-win solution. Companies rightly recognize that employee referrals make for quality hires. They place major significance on their employee referral hiring strategy. It is indeed the best bet to get the job of your dreams!
9 Effective Tips for Employee Referrals
So – how can you tap into it and enjoy its rewards? Read on for 9 effective tips that will get you there.
1. Create a strong first-circle network
Your “first circle” involves the people you know reasonably well. This includes your friends (from school, college, social interactions, work, etc.), family, old classmates, neighbors – anybody you can call on a whim to let them know you’re looking for a job.
This is an employee referrals network that some of us surprisingly overlook when scouting for a job. Perhaps we feel shy or guilty about imposing on them? But the truth is that the person who refers you gets rewarded in some form – a referral bonus, the pleasure of your company at work, or both. So drop the hesitation and make that call!
Also, this is the most important step, but this mustn’t be the only step in securing an employee-referred position. If you have companies you’re looking to target, share this list with them. They may, in turn, reach out to their first circle to accommodate you. This has the potential to create vast employee referral network opportunities across your industry, strengthening your chances of securing that dream job.
2. Build a strong niche-circle network
Sometimes, our friends and family don’t “get” our work. This is where you need to connect with individuals in the same field or position. Some of them could also be in your first circle, but here, you consciously network with folks with your desired jobs.
After all, who understands your job needs better than someone with a similar job?
So call, visit, email, or connect with past colleagues, co-workers, and associates you’ve drifted away from. In most cases, they will also share inputs on market trends (or trends in their company), technical expertise, and other valuable information that prepares you better for a successful job hunt.
3. Stay in touch with your old boss(es)
We bet you’ve heard this before – “People leave managers, not just companies.”
If you’ve enjoyed the good fortune of working with a manager you admire, there’s a strong possibility they enjoyed working with you too. Managers thrive in teams that have worked well in the past as their group dynamics are better. So your old boss will welcome the opportunity to get you back into his team. Connect with this manager and let them know you want a job change.
You should connect with your old boss regardless of your job hunt. This could vary from employee referral advantages to professional references. Who knows when you will need each other’s valuable input?
4. Stay Linked-In
If social media networks like Facebook and Twitter help sustain personal connections, LinkedIn helps maintain professional relationships. Ensure that you have an active LinkedIn profile. Spruce it up with your achievements. Contact your first circle to get into their employee referrals, meaning LinkedIn connections. Build strong professional relationships in the real and online worlds.
LinkedIn also offers salient features that make tracking and reviewing a person’s professional profile easy so your connections feel comfortable forwarding them for employee referrals. It’s also the right place to showcase praise from your superiors, career highlights, and passion projects that connect to your work. These are great ways to advertise your professional worth, so when a potential employer looks you up (online), LinkedIn reveals to him the star that you are.
5. Join a (formal) professional organization
A professional organization provides undeniable opportunities to connect with other industry professionals in less-formal setups. If you’re a geek, join a MENSA club. If you’re a techie, join a tech hub or a writer, join a forum for writers (or, better, start one). These forums enable you to connect with like-minded individuals as you enjoy a mix of personal and professional interactions. And while they’re at it, they also improve your knowledge.
Finally, there’s the clincher: companies place immense value on people who contribute to the industry, as plenty of potentials exists. So get involved to showcase your talent and potential.
6. Approach large-sized companies first
Suppose you’re serious about your job search (and not merely “fishing” for better opportunities). In that case, use these tips for multiple employee referral opportunities. Approach large-sized companies first.
Large companies (and by that, we mean 1000 employees and above) typically get over 27% of their hiring needs filled through employee referrals definition. It’s kind of a big deal! Hence attack this chunk before approaching smaller companies’ employee referrals.
The exception to this rule would be for niche-market roles. If you come with some ultra-special skill in short supply in the market, approaching small companies or start-ups is a better choice. They can offer you more freedom and don’t mind paying a hefty salary for your rare skill.
7. Make employee referrals Definition your first preference
Companies tend to address employee referrals with priority, so other applications are kept “pending” longer. This will be good news if your employee referral job application is tagged. But, this may not happen if you’ve approached a company through multiple channels (like a recruiting agency, employee referrals online application, a job fair, etc.). In these cases, your application sits waiting for its share of attention. And because it’s no longer considered a referral opportunity, the employee who originally referred you may not feel compelled to follow up on your pending application. This is surely not the win-win situation we strive for!
We cannot this iterate enough: an employee referrals example is often a company’s first choice for quality hires. So make it your first choice.
One way to do this is to reserve the first 1-2 fortnights of your job search, aggressively focusing on employee referrals. If this doesn’t yield the desired results, you can consider approaching other channels (like headhunters, recruiting agencies, etc.).
8. Intensely research the hiring company
Study the hiring company thoroughly:
- What is the company passionate about?
- What glorious vision drives it and its employees?
- Where does it see itself 5-10 years from now?
- Do you see yourself there? Do you fit in with its long-term aspirations?
Intensely researching the company can help you understand it better and align with its passion, so the interview becomes an opportunity for you to showcase this conviction. That’s all you need to get the final nod.
9. Aggressively network within the industry
Aggressively network with people in the relevant industry!
Network with any industry “insider” who can get your next break.
Networking is not a one-off event to fetch your next job. It has to become an ongoing habit. Here are some tips you can consider to ease this into your lifestyle:
- Register with career sites: Despite the other spam you receive, they keep you updated on upcoming industry-related networking events.
- Sign up for those networking events: Professional seminars, career fairs, or straightforward industry networking events.
- Schedule informal networking events: Invite a couple of old colleagues to dinner as you brainstorm better ways to network and progress in the industry. You could also use these “events” to stay updated on market trends and become aware of potential employee referrals opportunity.
- Find ways to contribute to your industry: Professional organizations offer great opportunities here. If you have the expertise, you can even volunteer to become a guest speaker at one.
This twenty-first century is all about developing bigger and better “connections.” With the tips outlined here, we believe you’re empowered to capitalize on this winning factor.
Employee Referrals are not simple company lookups you do before your interview. With the tips captured here, you’re sure to attract several opportunities for employee referrals. And in each case, you know at least one other person – the employee who referred you, who has first-hand experience with the hiring company. They see the company way better than the internet does. Tap into this experience.
This is a guide to Employee Referrals. Here we have discussed the basic concept of Employee Referrals with 9 effective tips that will get you there. You may want to have a look at the following courses to learn more –