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Aneta Robak

Rumour has it...

Rumour has it that recruitment slowly but firmly becomes a dying craft and online tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter or even Facebook (!) will soon replace it completely. I have been strongly connected with the recruitment industry for at least 4 years now, both as a candidate and as a recruiter and I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. One thing that always seems to come back to me like a boomerang are the almighty referrals. Who ever worked in recruitment knows that referrals are the bloodstream of any rec business. Sounds nice and easy? Not so much if you consider all the possible ways of getting a genuine referral…

1. LinkedIn sneak

Yes, we all know how useful the platform is and clearly many recruiters recognise its strengths and limitations. If you can’t get past the glass wall of ‘this person is not within your network’ or you don’t want to squander a ridiculous amount of £87 per month to get unlimited access then you have to get creative. There is a new trend amongst recruiters to ‘honeycomb’ new contacts by creating competitions (‘Like’ or ‘Connect’ with me if you want to win an IPad (!)) and posting it all day long. To me, being connected to many recruiters nationwide gives the luxury to observe how this works. True, in many cases such posts get an X amount of new shares and likes but the question here is...where is the quality? How many of those people will actually be contacted by the recruiter and how many of them will be useful to the business? I think the answer is clear, not so many. Besides, do you really want to be spending your precious time flipping through LinkedIn pages? I would be interested to know the answer.

2. ‘Paid for’ referrals

‘Refer a friend and you will get £500 or a chance to win trip to Spain!’ Now this is a very similar way of getting new candidates on your book to the one described before. Referral = reward… Easy? One thing that makes this referral scheme a bit different is that it is one step closer to a genuine referral, meaning, as a recruiter you actually get the chance to ask a few questions about a potential candidate (not that every recruiter will do it BTW) and find out more not just about their skills and background but also about their personality, likes and dislikes. The only problem I am having with the ‘paid for’ referral scheme is that it is hardly ever explained to the person that is referring someone. Sure, it is easy to throw a few buzzwords at someone who doesn’t know much about rec and make them believe they will get £500 for dropping someone’s name. The reality will tell though that not only will they NOT get the money for giving out someone’s name, they won’t even get it if the person gets the job! Surprised? They will have to wait at least 3 months (standard probation period) to see your reward. And if the placement doesn’t work out, not only will you jeopardise the relationship but your reputation as a recruiter, too.

3. ‘The old school’ word of mouth

At this stage it is perhaps worth reiterating what is the point of getting a referral. You want a name, contact details, OK. You want to make sure the person that is being referred has good employment background, fine. Now stop and ask yourself, is that enough? Or are you actually exposing yourself to an unpleasant phone conversation that will end somewhat ‘No, I’m not interested, don’t call me again.’ Hmm... To me, the whole point of a referral is to get information about someone’s personal life, their likes and dislikes. And the real beauty of a proper referral is that you actually get the chance to get to know the person way before you even decide to give them a call. And when you do, you are far more likely to create a bond and meaningful relationship by letting them know that it is a GENUINE REFERRAL and that you have done your homework. SHOW THEM YOU WANT THEM!

Now whichever referral style you use, feel free to share your opinions here.

Rumour has it

Recruitment slowly but firmly becomes a dying craft and online tools such as LinkedIn READ >


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