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How to Make a Successful Employee Referral

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

There’s a common saying among recruiters: Talent knows talent. In other words, people who are skilled in certain areas tend to know other people with the same, or similar, skills, and those who have certain backgrounds and abilities usually know others with similar experiences. The saying shows that referrals can be a good way to find candidates for a job. So good that most employers pay bonuses to employees for referring someone who is hired.

An employee referral seems like a win/win. Your colleague needs a job, your company needs someone who has the skills and experience that your colleague has, so putting them together should be a no-brainer, right?

Well, yes and no.

Putting people in jobs is often easier said than done, and even when you have the perfect person for a role, there are still some extra steps to be taken from your first conversation with the person you’d like to refer to the day that you receive your employee referral bonus.

Understand the Position and the Person You’d Like to Refer

If you’re going to refer someone to a job with your company, you need to know and understand, the open position, even if it’s not in your field. You don’t need to be able to do the job yourself to recommend someone to be considered for the position, but you should be able to tell a potential employee that your company is looking for, say, a payroll accountant who has experience with ADP as opposed to someone who has worked with Ceridian.

Before you refer anyone to your company, you should take the time to have a candid discussion about the job and your employer. The person you’re potentially referring should know what the role of the position is, why it’s open (if you know) and what the potential for advancement might be. You should also know how serious they’ll be about the job. Ask why they’re looking for a new opportunity, what they’re hoping to get out of their next position, and if they’re comfortable with your company culture. Someone who doesn’t mesh with your company’s culture is unlikely to stay with the company very long, so think seriously before you refer someone for a job with your company. It may not be fair, but you will be judged by the referrals you make, and their experience as employees will reflect on you.

Presenting your Referral

Once you’re ready to refer to your company, request a copy of their resume and any supporting documents, such as a portfolio. Attach this to an email introducing the candidate. The email should include the candidate’s name, a brief description of how you know them, and why you think they would be a good match for the position. The introductory email is the perfect place to list any certifications they’ve earned as well as your firsthand knowledge of the candidate’s work, but don’t exaggerate their experience.

Once you’ve written the introductory letter, be sure to email it along with the resume and any other documents to the correct department. If you’re emailing your referral to HR, be sure to copy the hiring manager as well. It’s important to email the referral not just to be sure it’s been received but to have a record of your referral for any referral bonuses you might be due.

Following Up

Once you’ve made the referral, be sure to follow up. Stay in contact with the person you’ve referred, and, if necessary, touch base with the people you submitted the referral to. It can be easy to miss an email, so be sure that your referral is noticed. Good candidates can be hard to find, so make sure your referral isn’t missed.

Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You

Optimum Staffing Solutions can help both candidates and employers with the placement of accounting professionals. For the best staffing agencies in Greensboro, NC, as well as for the best staffing agencies in Charlotte, NC, contact Optimum Staffing Solutions.

A Greensboro temp agency, an Atlanta temp agency, as well as a Charlotte temp agency, Optimum, can provide your company with a highly skilled freelancer, contract, temporary, or direct hire professional along with HR Services. Of the temp agencies in Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, GA, and the temp agencies in Charlotte, NC, Optimum offers small to medium-sized businesses a wealth of talent to fill their positions.

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