Leveraging on Referrals to Land Your Dream Job

Leveraging on Referrals to Land Your Dream Job

By Olumide Durotoluwa

Referral recruitment is gaining a lot of momentum, because it is returning amazing results both for job-seekers as well as recruiters. Referral recruitment, is simply where a company requests its own employees to refer suitable candidates to fill job vacancies by tapping into their own networks. According to LinkedIn’s report on Global Recruiting Trends 2017, 48% of the world’s talent leaders get quality hires using employee referrals. This is not a new concept at all – referral programs have existed since the time of Julius Caesar’s rule in 55 B.C, who offered 300 sestertii to any soldier recruiting another into the Roman army.

Don’t be surprised, many companies have vacancies, but they do not advertise such positions. They simply depend on their employees to refer suitable candidates. A few reasons why recruiters are choosing the referral system over the traditional method:

  • Higher retention of employees: Research has shown that 56% of referred employees stay for over five years in their current position, and over 70% stayed in the same position as the time of hire, which implies higher job satisfaction.
  • Higher employee productivity: A study by Stanford found that referred employees have higher productivity and better company fitment compared to employees hired through alternative channels.
  • Saves costs and time: By employing the referral system, companies simply save on the cost of advertising, the cost of using a recruitment agency, job portals etc.

In a presentation I gave in 2018, I explained the differences between the referral system and the traditional method better through these slides:


Seeing the remarkable benefits of the referral system, how have you positioned yourself to take up this advantage?  How well are you prepared to take on, the next opportunity? How well do you attend events relating to your industry? Do you network with professionals in your field? No one will give you that connection you need. You need to create it by yourself, and for yourself. “Are you saying that jobs can no longer be obtained by merit”? Not at all. You simply need to make your “merit” more visible and noticeable. Just as Ndubuisi Ekekwe rightly said, the best talent that you have, is the one people know you have.

The best time to get ready for a job is when you are not searching for one.  How well acquainted are you with what is going on in the industry you wish to work? Do you follow trends, news and updates in these sectors? Can you make your interviewer listen to you for 10 mins non-stop?

If you wait until a few days prior to your interview, before you equip yourself with the knowledge of your industry, you have already flawed that interview. Employees are assets. No employer will invest in an employee that can’t bring in more revenue to the company.

Don’t wait until you start looking for a job, to get prepared for the job. Follow news feeds, publications, knowledge trends and be updated about your industry. Have you even gone the extra mile by publishing an article relating to your industry? Do you share your thoughts and perspectives regularly on LinkedIn? Imagine a situation where the CEO of the company you are applying for, is already following your posts on LinkedIn. That will make the process easier. The interview session, will simply be turned to a discussion.

In this age of social aggregator, it becomes easier to reach top executives, reducing the social and “geo-economic” gap across the pyramid. It has creatively destroyed the social order. The internet, aside being a location agnostic interface, has further reduced the social barriers between people. You can engage and interact online with those you will never meet in 10 years by narrative.

All together

Referral system has been shown to offer more benefits than the traditional method. This is a trend which might have started centuries ago, but it’s here to stay. Those who know more people, will get more job offers. However, you don’t need to bother about your social status, or your network reach. The internet has come to your aid. It has the capacity to aggregate network effects, thereby increasing the probability of digital positioning. Visibility thus, becomes very imperative to landing your dream job. Push out your expertise, and not your CV.

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2 thoughts on “Leveraging on Referrals to Land Your Dream Job

  1. This is the best article I have read in a long time about recruiting. Referrals actually limits attrition rate and cycle time.

    Employees stay longer where they have people they are familiar with.


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