Employee referrals can be a powerful tool in your job search. While they won’t guarantee you a job, an employee referral can increase the chances that the company’s hiring team will see your application and may boost your chances of getting an interview.
What is an Employee Referral?
Simply put, an employee referral is an endorsement of you for a specific position by someone within a potential employer’s company. Employee referrals usually come from someone you know who works at the company, such as a former classmate, an old colleague, or even a former teacher or co-worker.
Employee referrals may be informal or formal. An informal employee referral is when someone you know passes your name on to a recruiter as a potential candidate with their recommendation. Formal referrals are part of a program organized by an employer. When your connection recommends you by a formal referral, they can receive rewards if you are ultimately hired.
Benefits of Employee Referrals
The top reason why employers encourage referral programs is that they increase their chances of getting a better hire for the position. When job candidates are referred, they tend to know more about the company and culture, so it is easy to see if they will be a good fit.
For job seekers, using employee referrals is a great way to smooth the job-seeking process. When you’re referred, you’re on the inside track. Candidates who are referred often are given priority during the resume review process.
Tapping into Your Network
Taking advantage of employee referrals requires some effort on your part. You should always be networking with a purpose within your chosen career and within areas that interest you. In many companies, the incentives of employee referral programs encourage workers to actively reach out within their network to find people for open positions. If you’re in the network and in the know, you could find yourself recommended for your dream job in no time.
If you don’t have a developed network, start working on that. Utilize online platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with employees at your target companies and people who share connections with you in other ways, such as having the same profession, going to the same college or university, or knowing the same people.
Employee referrals, while not a guarantee of getting a position, can be a powerful way to connect with a potential employer. A recommendation from an established employee gives you a leg-up over the competition and may help you find your next career opportunity.