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Saturday, July 27, 2013

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Are Job Referrals Effective?

Go back to the start of the millenium. How would you apply for a job? Hunt down various advertisements in a newspaper or if you were lucky, find a job description on or any other employment website. At that time, elements such as cultural fit and company ethos s were totally unknown to you and when you walked in for the prized interview, beyond your qualifications and the job description, you knew nothing!

Enter today’s generation of incessant social networking, which may seem a curse to some, but carries immense potential for career building. Job referrals have been an important aspect in recruitment for various companies, with an average of 50% employees coming in with the help of referrals. Startups like Round One, employeebuddy, jobprize etc have created platforms for suitable candidates to interact with some employees of the company they would like to work with, leading to the employee to “refer” the candidate to the HR department. Such a model enables a candidate to be able to look at the work culture, pros and cons from a closer angle. Instead of directly applying to the recruiting uthorities, he may seek the advice and help of a number of employees working with that company and in the process earns a referral which is a bonus to his chances of getting selected. This social networking paradigm helps prospective employees gain an edge over those who choose to apply using the orthodox methods.

It’s not only the candidates who benefit from such a strategy. The employees benefit too, making it a win-win situation for all. The employees submit referrals, enabling the company to recruit possibly better qualified people than they could with printed advertisements or internet ads. In various companies, the referral system is managed, helping the employees earn further bonuses and benefits with successful referrals. Thus the process of referrals only increases exponentially with time, with more candidates coming up and more employees ready to refer them. Naturally, the company benefits, with a surplus of qualified candidates coming up for recruitment. A distinct problem that can be noticed is the effectiveness of third party referral companies unable to provide a suitable social networking platform. Round One is a startup that suitably negotiates this problem. Most of the other ventures seem to simply be a database of resumes and CVs, with both sides having to hunt out for each other. In contrast to this, Round One’s strategy focuses on an effective and managed networking structure by facilitating a telephonic interaction between the referrer and the andidate which enables comfortable conversation and mutual understanding, so that no party is left in doubt. Various researchs are shows that there is an increasing trend of managing the referral system within a company itself, forming a department of its own. These management authorities are responsible for maintaining a bridge between employees and prospective employees and off late, have become vital for recruitment in big companies. Studies show that even though referrals are the fastest way to recruit and make up for most of the recruited people, a meagre 7% people apply by this method, which speaks of the unawareness in most job seekers of such a useful mechanism.


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