Help Jumpstart The Economy With Employee Referrals

March 29, 2013

11:00 am

Every month, millions of Americans await the Bureau of Labor Statistics job report in hopes of seeing the job market take a turn in a more positive direction. While the difference between an encouraging or disappointing report is fairly small, fingers are crossed for good news.

The slow economic recovery is nothing short of frustrating. Business owners, job seekers,  college students, and even the happily employed are all being impacted. But it seems as if there’s nothing a single person can do to benefit a turnaround — or is there?

A Word Of Mouth Solution

The jobs are out there; they’re just not being filled. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 3.6 million job openings this past December. For job seekers who search online, there are millions of job listings to scroll through every day, but it seems employers are still unable to find and recruit the right candidates for their available positions. Fortunately, the average individual can be the solution to the unemployment problem by helping direct qualified candidates — potentially unemployed friends of networking contacts — to new positions through referrals.

Whether you decide to drop a friend’s resume on your manager’s desk, pass along information via email, or make a phone call — employee referrals can move mountains. Not only are you giving a contact a competitive advantage in a stiff job market, but you’re also providing your employer with a trusted recommendation for a job candidate, essentially easing the hiring process, and even saving time and money in the long run.

Employers Will Thank You

Employee referrals are no secret to employers. Companies large and small are regularly seeking out internal recommendations for qualified candidates. Many believe this trend has been amplified due to the job climate, but the growing online connectivity through social networking sites could also be a driving factor. Rather than scouring piles of applications for the perfect candidate, hiring managers are beginning to prefer an internal referral for a candidate possessing not only the specific skills and experiences for the position, but also a fit for the company culture.

Do Your Part

Making an employee referral isn’t challenging, and it can create a positive wave. Aviram Ben Moshe, cofounder and CTO of CareerSonar, a free social job discovery startup said, “If every person made a handful of matches that result in even a single hire, we will not only help our friends and families, but the economy as a whole.”

There are many ways you can go about making an employee referral. If there’s a position available at your company, reach out to your friends and trusted connections to see who is a match for the position. Pass along the information and resume of only the most qualified candidates for the available position. Some employers make it easier for employees to make a recommendation by having a referral program already set up.

There’s even the possibility of gaining a monetary reward for a successfully matched referral. “The first step to recognizing your employee efforts is offering a referral bonus for a successful hire. The optimal referral reward is anywhere between $2,500 and $5,000 which leads to higher employee engagement, referrals, and ultimately more referral hires,” wrote Ziv Eliraz, the founder and CEO of Zao, on the Zao blog.

If you’re frustrated with the economy, a simple employee referral might ease your mind. You’re making a difference by giving a trusted connection access to an opportunity they might have otherwise missed, while also helping your employer connect with a qualified candidate.

Did you get hired through an employee referral? Share below!

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Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.

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