Monday, February 4, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Start a Referral Job Search

“Clicking and Applying” for jobs is not a very effective job search strategy. There are a lot of reasons this doesn’t work. I’ll dive into those reasons at another time.
The most important thing to know is this…
Employee Referrals are the #1 Source of Hires, and the #1 Most Effective way to get hired.
This fact has been proven time and time again.
We’ve heard for years, “It’s easier to get your foot in the door if you know someone!”
Well, it’s true. What’s also true, and what most job seekers don’t know is the following:

1. Referrals are the #1 Source of Hires

That being said, very few candidates ever apply as referrals (6.9% of applicants**), making them not only the #1 Source of Hires, but also the most effective path to apply and get hired. In recent studies from Dr. John Sullivan, companies with Top Performing employment Referral Programs (ERP) filled 46% of all positions from referrals. In other studies, from CareerXRoads and Jobvite, employers reported hiring between 28% to 39.9% of hires from referrals, respectively.
In an article in the Wiley Job Network, Dr. Sullivan writes, “On average, a full 28% of hires come from referrals and at top firms, it is nearly 50%. In direct contrast, the corporate career site produces only 9.8%, newspaper ads produce only 2.2% and career fairs 1.9%. Do the math. You have a 300% higher chance of getting hired as a referral versus applying on the “black hole” corporate career site”.

2. Referrals have the highest Applicant to Hire Ratio

Employers hire, on average of 1 in 10 referral applicants (CareerXRoads), compared to 1 in 300 for job board applicants. Another way of saying this is that candidates that apply through a referral have a 1 in 10 chance (or 10% ) of being hired. This might not sound very high, but consider the following, the chances of getting hired from applying for a job from a job board is approximately less than 1 in 300. (An ad on a job board can generate well over 100 applications. If the job is placed on 3 job boards, that’s over 300 applicants for a single job. If you get the job, your chances were 1 in 300.)In many cases, CareerXRoads and Dr. Sullivan noted several companies that hired 1 in 2 (50%), 1 in 3(33%), and 1 in 4 (25%) of the candidates who applied through a referral!

3. Referrals almost always get their resume read.

You can imagine the conversation that comes up at the water cooler or the next management meeting, when the employee who referred a candidates ask the hiring manager if they called their friend back. You can bet they are going to look at the resume, and provide a courteous first round interview, if minimally qualified.
“Becoming an employee referral is a “fast ticket” to getting your resume reviewed simply because referrals are the highest volume source with the highest quality of hire.” states Sullivan.

4. Referrals almost always get a response to their application.

This is for several reasons, but mostly I think it’s out of respect for fellow employees. Similar to the above, if you know someone on the inside, there’s a good chance the company will go out of their way to respond to your application and let you know the status. Good luck getting a call back if you applied through the corporate career site or job board.

5. Referrals almost always get the benefit of the doubt.

Effective teams can always over come individual weaknesses. As a result, employers are more willing to hire someone who fits in with the team, even if they have less proven skills. Another way of saying this is “The Devil we know is better than the Devil we don’t.”

Reasons 6-10 and Complete Article

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