Apr 01, 2022

5 Things You Should Know About a Job Referral

Referrals help the employer learn more about the candidate not only in terms of their qualifications for the role, but also to understand the candidate’s work ethic. Regardless of what industry you’re in, job referrals create an avenue for job seekers to have access to jobs that are not advertised, and it gives confidence to employers that they are hiring “high quality” candidates. Research also shows that referred hires tend to stay on longer at a company. Job referrals are easily one of the best, most reliable ways to get a hiring manager to take a closer at someone’s resume.

How to refer someone and the importance of a job referral

Finding the right candidate for your company needn’t be an uphill battle, leaving you wondering how to hire quality employees. And at some point, in your career, you may be asked to write a referral letter for a friend or a colleague. So, let’s talk about how to refer someone and why referrals are so important.

A referred candidate is a faster hire than a traditional candidate. This is because, rather than having to screen through hundreds of resumes or craft a job posting, you’re able to make the hiring decision faster by interviewing the referred candidate. It is also a cheaper way to hire candidates since you don’t have to pay traditional recruiting costs to source these candidates by advertising on a job board or going through a recruitment agency.

When you refer someone for a job, remember to keep these 5 important points in mind:

1.Check for referral programs

Talk to your company about their referral policies and discuss about the various job referral reward systems that the company offers.

2.Get the relevant information

Ensure that you have all the relevant information about the person you’re referring before you make your referral. For example, it is vital that you ask them to share their resume with you so that you can highlight the relevant details in your referral letter.

3.Keep it professional!

In your referral letter, keep your tone professional and positive. Talk about how well you’ve known the person you’re referring and how long you’ve known them. Highlight their skills and experience that are relevant to the role and company values.

4.Doublecheck your letter

Always proofread your referral letter to make sure that there are typos or grammatical errors.

5.Don’t forget to follow up!

Remember to follow up with the hiring manager after you make your referral.

Why and how you should ask for a job referral

As a job seeker, one way for you to ask for a job referral is by reaching out to the people you already know in your network, via phone or email. Depending on the closeness of the relationship, you can then follow up with the referee for possible job opportunities. This is another reason why you should constantly build and leverage your network, even if you’re not actively looking for a new job at present.

When you have a strong relationship with the person whom you’re asking for the job referral, try to find out if they have an employee referral program at their company. This way, if you land the position, they end up getting a referral bonus, which would encourage them to refer you for the job. So, there you go, a win-win for everyone!

When reaching out to someone to ask for a job referral, be considerate of their time. It can be awkward to ask someone for a favor, especially when you haven’t interacted with them recently.

Here is an example of a job referral request to someone you may not very well, this person might be a casual acquaintance, an alumnus or even someone you’ve run into at a networking event.

“Hi [insert name of contact], [insert what you have in common with person you are reaching out to (i.e., “I attended UBC and recently moved to Vancouver.”]. I came across the [name of role you are applying to (you can also make it a hyperlink)] role at [Company name] and am interested in applying. Would you be open to sharing my resume with the hiring team, so they know about my interest in this role? Happy to chat more if you have the time. Looking forward to hearing from you”

Providing value to this network connection in some way would go a long way instead of just popping up one day in their messages and asking them for a favor, which can make you look self-serving. You can add value in a lot of different ways, like sharing a post that they’ve written on LinkedIn, or even referring them to a role where you feel like they would be an asset. Be considerate and respectful of their time; keep your messages short and to the point when approaching someone for a job referral and it will go a long way in strengthening your network.

Don’t have an immediate first-degree connection in your network who can refer you in your area of expertise? Worry not, because this is where LinkedIn comes into play! LinkedIn is an amazing way to connect with prospective employers, but they have also recently introduced a new function named, ‘Ask for a Referral’, which enables a job seeker to approach their first- or second-degree connections to ask for a referral to a job posted by their organization. It even has the option of filtering your job search by whether someone in your network is currently employed by the company you’re applying to.

Another great way to leverage your professional connections is by attending networking events. But don’t be one of those people who attend these events with the sole intention of promoting themselves, as that will severely limit you from forming meaningful connections. Take the time to talk to the people at these events and understand their areas of interest. Offer them a referral exchange by finding out what kind of job opportunities they’re looking for currently and let them know that you’re happy to refer them to someone in your network who could use their services. Ask them for an extra business card so you can pass on their information, and before you know it, you have made a valuable connection!

Remember to keep in touch after the networking event is over by sending a thank you note, so that you remain at the top of their minds the next time your network connection finds a possible lead.