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Shortcut to a New Job: Tap an Insider

By Hannah Morgan

The surest way to get your foot in the door is a referral by an employee.

Companies agree, employee referrals are the go-to source for hiring.

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Why Employee Referred Candidates Are Better Bets

This isn’t a new fad. Companies have always used employee referrals, formally or informally, to fill positions.

The logic is simple, if you are a good employee, chances are good that you have friends who would make good employees.

In this NY Times article, Mr. Nash of Ernst & Young reports "Our analysis shows referred hires perform better, stay longer and are quicker to integrate into our teams." And it is also important to note that referrals cost less to find because there are no expensive ads or recruiters required.

#1 Source of External Hires

CareerXroads Sources of Hire study reports that the greatest number of external hires (vs. promotions and transfers of existing exmployees, also known as "internal hires") came from employee referrals. Twenty-four and a half percent of external hires (people who were not already employees) were the result of employee referrals.

The other sources of hire include 23.4 percent who credit the company’s career portal, 18.1 percent came through job boards, and from there, the numbers decline to single digit percentages.

Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and other companies, currently report close to 50 percent of their external hiring comes from employee referrals.

Improve Your Odds

Your chances of fast-tracking through the company’s recruitment system may be greater if you get a company insider to refer you. One company cited in the NY Times article said that referred employees are 10 times more likely to be hired than other applicants. Plus, employees may be eligible for rewards such as money or an iPad for referring you. This provides employees with a greater incentive to refer candidates. According to the CareerXroads study, it takes 10 referrals to get one hire versus 72 applicants from other sources to get one hire. So where would you invest your time and effort?

Leave No Stone Unturned

If you are thinking you don’t know anyone inside companies you want to work for, think again. You likely have connections that you are unaware of. Start by creating a list of all your closest friends. Next, list the companies each contact works for. Do you know where their family members work? These are sources of referrals too.

If you are using LinkedIn, it is easier to collect this information, assuming you are connected to all your friends on LinkedIn.

However, you may realize that you use Facebook to keep in contact with family and close friends. You can search Facebook to see where people work, as long as they have included this information in their profile. If you aren’t using social networks or your networks don’t include all your friends, map this out on paper.

And don’t forget to use other tools and apps to find connections when you apply for jobs.

[MORE: Get Sourced to Get Hired.]

Bottom Line

Strengthen your network and stay in touch with friends, family, and past colleagues. Due to advancements in technology and the growing use of social networks, this has become easier to do, and more employers are finding their great hires through referrals.

More About Employee Referrals


About the author...

Hannah Morgan, Job-Hunt’s Social Media Job Search Expert, maximizes her own personal branding and online visibility using social media platforms. She is a job search strategist and founder of CareerSherpa.net. Follow and connect with Hannah on Twitter (@careersherpa) and Facebook (Career Sherpa). To read more articles on how to use social media for job search, visit her site: Careersherpa.net.


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