3 Steps to Asking For Candidate Referrals

By Cohesion Recruitment

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It’s common knowledge that employers can use Candidate Referral Schemes.

However, "how" to ask for candidate referrals isn't made entirely evident.

Asking for referrals too soon can lead to poor referrals. Asking for them in the wrong way can be misconstrued by the candidate. Following these 3 simple and effective steps, coupled with an appropriate recruitment campaign, will help you to source the talent that you require, using Candidate Referral Schemes.

- Plant the seed, before asking the candidate to water it

Don’t dive straight in after their first month and ask them for candidate referrals. Plant the seed – during one of their first meetings with their line manager, mention that you use Candidate Referral Schemes as a means of recruitment. This plants the seed because they begin thinking about who they would refer, whilst expecting you to ask the question at some point. This makes them feel more comfortable, as it’s not as though they’ve just joined the workforce and already they’re being asked to refer anyone they know.

Also, they may not even be enjoying their time working, but may feel obliged to refer someone. If they aren’t enjoying the work themselves, they may refer a bad candidate.

- Let the candidate make the introduction

Provide them with a template for an email, so they cover the bits that you want to be covered. Through this, you get everything across that you would want, wrapped inside the friendly communication between the candidate and who they are referring. Ask them to touch on who you are, and why they are actually receiving the email. Accurate communication is key.

A communication stream has now been created between your company and the respondent. This is easy for you to follow up and chase after.

- “Thank you”

Candidates have been referred. you’ve chased up the emails and pursued the lead. In the end, nothing comes of it. This is merely a technicality, and is by no stretch of the imagination the fault of the worker. It is imperative that you say thank you for each referral, regardless of the outcome. Perhaps try offering them a token of your appreciation. This shows that you are grateful for their effort, and encourages them to try again in the future. The last thing you would want to do is discourage your workers from referring anyone in the future.

Candidate Referral Schemes are arguably the most useful way of finding the candidates that are best-suited to any job. They boast the highest applicant to hire conversation rate (only 7% apply, but this accounts for 40% of all hires). 4 out of every 10 employees will have been recruited via means of employee/candidate referral, in short.

Try experimenting with your referral schemes: change the rewards you offer, use social media, set different guidelines etc. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” when it comes to these referral schemes. You can only find your best one through a series of trial and error.

Using these 3 simple steps as a guideline to moulding the best Candidate Referral Scheme, coupled with a well-formed recruitment campaign, for your sector can provide you with the groundwork upon which you can build.


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