Missed Connections: The Trouble with Referral Heavy Hiring

Emily Kocoloski   March 01, 2017  

Referrals have always been necessary for recruiters. They are our bread and butter for job lead generation. So, when an employee referral program is in place at your company, it can’t hurt to ask them to hook us up with their connections, right?

It can if that is the main ingredient in our sourcing mix.

We all know the pros of employee referrals; we see them in action every day. We get top-notch people that fit with the job description, fall within the salary range, and have the potential to be a link in a never-ending chain of connections.

However, in this gold mine of potential applicants, we may be focusing too much on referral leads and not enough on the other methods of sourcing.

Remember your first dead end referral? Or the person who wasn’t nearly as qualified as the reference employee implied? Maybe an employee incentive written into the program lead you to a long list of the employee’s estranged LinkedIn connections. We are not devaluing referrals completely, we are just saying that under pressure your team may feel the heat to cough up names and connections, and they might not be worth numerous contact attempts.

The truth is that there’s a giant pool of emerging talent out there.

By following one employee’s string of referrals, recruiters may be selling themselves short. It is our job to find the best talent, not only the best connected. Investing more resources into recruitment and sourcing software can lead to more diverse applicants that may not have been recognized otherwise. With just a few clicks and keywords you can tap into a limitless stream of talent—without shaking down your people for names.

We suggest finding a platform that uses an advanced search feature, so that recruiters can search by location, position and other detailed criteria. This gives us the power to find multiple quality candidates fit to our own specifications, and not have to rely on the word of others.

Talent Rover has gone as far as allowing the search to open up to multiple job boards and social media sites at the same time. Combined with referrals and other sourcing efforts, candidate search features can help fill the position with the right person.

That sounds a little more well-rounded than just relying on heavy referral strategies, don’t you think?

Go beyond your network to arm yourself with the best, most result driven, sourcing options to rule the candidate pool.

Side Note: Click to read about how Talent Rover lets recruiters pull up candidates based on customizable profile scores from multiple external sources