Friends Can Help You Get a Job

By Denise Taylor

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More and more organisations are now bypassing recruitment consultants and targeting potential employees direct so you want to be found.

Alongside being approached on LinkedIn companies are also targeting people direct through asking their staff to encourage friends and contacts to apply for a job within their company.

Companies like Deloitte and Enterprise Rent-A-Car offer their employees free gifts like iPads to promote the company to their friends.  For example,  Ernst & Young are looking to increase the number of staff they take on for non entry placements to 50%. 

‘When a friend at Ernst & Young recommended her, Ms. Parakh’s résumé was quickly separated from the thousands the firm receives every week because she was referred by a current employee, and within three weeks she was hired’.

This article includes more examples and the comments are well worth reading; more and more people giving examples of how they got jobs through this route.  A recent article in the NY Times also discuss how being recommended by a friend/contact can lead to being interviewed for a job that may not be advertised.

Excellent news if you have friends in the right places, not so good if you don't have the contacts. It can also mean that a work force is less varied and contains more and more people who are like each other. I thought employment law was meant to lead to open recruitment but this is anything but.

The Increasing Importance of Connections

Even getting in the door for an interview is becoming more difficult for those without connections. I’ve read (in a study of one large company by three economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) that referred candidates are twice as likely to land an interview as other applicants. For those who make it to the interview stage, the referred candidates had a 40% better chance of being hired than other applicants. 

It gets worse!

Apparently at Sodexo, a food service and facilities management company that hires 4,600 managers and executives a year, referred employees are 10 times more likely to be hired than other applicants.

Again not great for people without the great connections.

This strongly reinforces the need to use your contacts to help you get a job and also to be creative and look for other ways to stand out. I know that many of the people who most need a job may be those who have lost touch with influential contacts as it is a while since they lost their job, or never had such contacts in the first place.

Maybe it will help to get recommended by someone you know, who may not work at a company that you want to work for but will recommend you on a site like Job Bounties. This site allows people to get paid for recommending people they know for a job. Their research says that 41% of people have found a job through their personal network compared to 34% through a job ad, and this site builds on this. 

Directly Target Your Preferred Employer

As a career coach I regularly talk with my clients about the need to target companies direct, and not to rely on jobs advertised. I think most people know that adverts are going to lead to a high number of applicants and taking a more direct approach through a targeted approach to companies can often lead to a meeting and job offer. Often people will find leads through people they know, and sometimes their contact will make the introduction. 

From this article you can see why you need to involve other people in your job search. Be clear about what you want, be able to explain it simply and let other people know what it is that you are looking for, then you may find that they can promote you.

I’m interested in your comments on this and many of you may not like the message. You may think it is nepotism, but this isn’t the boss giving the job to a relative but a company wanting to decrease the costs of recruitment and increase the chance of a new recruit being successful.

Brought to you by award winning career coach with Amazing People and author of How to Get a Job in a Recession, Denise Taylor (@amazingpeople)


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