Just about anywhere you look for statistics on hiring, the referral variable always seems to bubble up as one of the top factors in successful recruiting and selection. Just about any type of referral will help you get beyond the online application and the robotic resume reviewer. If your resume can pass through the hands of someone within the company or someone influential to a hiring manager, the hiring process just got a bit shorter for you.
What is a referral? It’s trust – trust built on a relationship that is kindly leveraged to give you a boost, a second look, or even an on-site interview.
Talk to the hiring gurus and you’ll find that they all emphasize the value of relationships.
Lou Adler, one of the top recruiting and career experts in the industry, recently offered some sage advice to job seekers in his article “How to Beat the System to Get a Better Job.” Adler outlines six action items that narrow the focus of the search and the value of building your personal network (a.k.a. relationships):
- Mix it up. Narrow your search and deepen your research into fewer matching positions. Then find someone in the company with whom you can connect.
- Be found. Highlight your accomplishments on your resume and then publicize it so the right people can find you.
- Bypass the screener. Referrals can often get you in the door and to an interview.
- Build a true network. Relationships in your industry can be leveraged for referrals to companies and jobs. It’s give and take, so make your relationships mutually beneficial.
- Build a reverse network. Talk to recruiters when they call, even if you’re not looking. Refer talent to them and they will keep you in mind when they’re looking for top talent in the future.
- Force a discovery interview. Once you are at the table, ask specific questions about future projects and then demonstrate how your accomplishments mirror the tasks expected of the new hire.
(Read Adler’s entire article here.)
Even the technician who repairs robots in Detroit assembly lines must interact with people to get hired. The more you build relationships with people who know you and understand the value you can bring to any company, the easier it will be to get in the door for that interview.
Recruiters, by the way, are not all the same. A few companies, like ours, have as our bedrock foundation long-term relationships. This takes time and commitment to build and keep relationships with companies and hiring managers that, in turn, can help you cut through the red tape and robots to get the career you want.