Looking for a new job? You might want to ask your friends: Employee referrals are more beneficial than you may think.
In a survey by research firm Future Workplace and career network Beyond.com, 71 percent of human resources professionals surveyed revealed that referrals are essential in job searches, naming them as the best resource for finding candidates.
There are many reasons employers prefer referred candidates. In another Business News Daily article, Laura Kerekes, chief knowledge officer of HR solutions company ThinkHR, said that referring employees can "prequalify the candidate, becausethe referrer does not want to tarnish his or her reputation within the company with an unsuccessful hire." Additionally, the candidates are hard and dedicated workers, intending to prove their worth and meet the standards that their referral sets.
With referrals, "the company obtains access to talent that may not be actively looking but are willing to look at your company because of the encouragement of someone they know and respect," Kerekessaid. If that referral then has the opportunity to work with their referring employee, they will likely create a positive workplace atmosphere, boosting the company's overall environment, she added.
Most job seekers are not taking advantage of referrals to get their foot in the door for a job. In fact, only 7 percent of applicants view referrals as their top resource while searching for positions. According to Rich Milgram, founder and CEO of Beyond.com, "a strong application, coupled with quality referrals, will provide job seekers with an advantage in the hiring process." [See Related Story: Want a Professional Reference? How to Ask and What to Expect]
Moreover, not all referrals must be made by people in official positions at the company you're applying to. Job seekers can make connections by attending conferences, meeting up with past co-workers, or reaching out to others within an industry on social media, Milgram said — you never know whom these individuals might be connected to.
"You should constantly be exploring new ways to nurture and expand your referral network, and it may be easier than you think," Milgram said in a statement.