Candidate Referrals within Recruitment


In a world where there are so many interruptions to our daily routines and there are so many choices (especially for which recruitment agency to use) then referrals should be the thing which recruiters aim for.

I'm therefore still amazed how often recruitment businesses handle referrals poorly - or not at all!


A referral means that someone cares enough about your product,service and/or you to tell someone else who may benefit by using your product, service or from contacting you. This is the best and most cost effective form of marketing, so why would you not act upon this? (for example - work out your average cost for attracting a candidate who you register and then the cost of a referral!)

So, wheres the benefit in a referral?

  • It's unlikely that you are going to be referred a poor candidate,because the person referring won't want this to reflect poorly on them if they did.
  • It's one of the most cost effective ways of attracting candidates
  • It shows you that you are doing something right (if you aren't getting many referrals then you need to look at what you are doing)
  • It creates some common ground with the person receiving the referral because you have a common link - i.e. the person making the referral.
  • Word of mouth can spread quickly
  • It generates you more business


What's the potential impact of not acting on a referral?

  • It reflects poorly on you and your business
  • The person who receives the referral questions whether you are actually any good
  • It creates an 'un-referral' - by which I mean the person who receives the referral actually does the complete opposite and highlights their poor experience to their peers.
  • It reflects poorly on the person making the referral (or that will be their perception)
  • You're starting to undo the good work you've clearly been doing
  • Its actually costing you money by not acting upon the candidate which the referral has attracted - not to mention the fee you may generate from them


I'm not suggesting that referrals should get preferential treatment- not at all. Every candidate should receive a great experience/service. What I am saying though is, to look closely and consider what has gone on within that referral process. Who has been involved and therefore what is the impact of not acting.


Can you afford not to act on referrals. What are the benefits of referrals to your business?


This post was originally published on my blog

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