A referral is said to have occurred when one professional directs an individual to another professional. The goal is for the individual to receive either a consultation, review or some other intended action. In sales recruitment and specifically with reference to the recruiter, referrals work in a number of ways:
- Sales candidates can refer a recruiter to each other, based on the recruiter’s track record as far as placing candidates is concerned.
- Recruiters can refer candidates to one another. This usually happens when a recruiter gets a top-notch candidate who is not in his/her area of industry, but who would benefit and be of great value when placed elsewhere
- Companies often refer recruiters to each other; particularly if they have received exceptional services and top-notch candidates to fill vacant positions.
- Employee referral programs.
Demystifying Employment Referral Programs
Employee referral programs are implemented such that employees are given the authority to refer suitable candidates who would ideally, be able to join the team and work constructively along with them. In fact, most referral programs are set up in such a way that the employees are rewarded for providing viable candidates for the company.
While some in the profession may view this as “recruitment interrupted”, the reality is that it is not. On the contrary, it provides the recruiter with an opportunity to re-package themselves and their services based on the demands of their market. Even with employees referring potential candidates, there is still the need for an expert who will narrow down the list of candidates to the final, single candidate who will get the position.
The employee referral program therefore, is only the first step i.e. bringing suitable, potential candidates in through the door. The sales recruiter then needs to conduct interviews to determine their suitability based on a number of factors that include:
- The culture of the company
- The candidates personality and idiosyncrasies
- The needs of the company and how they compare to the needs of the candidate
Even companies with strong and established employee referral programs usually need the insight of a professional recruiter. The reason for this is that the expert is likely to have insights that non-professionals would generally miss. When referring potential candidates for sales positions within the company, employees are likely to be focused solely on qualification. It is therefore the sales recruiter’s responsibility to first weed out the candidates who may have misrepresented themselves and then continue to narrow the list of referred candidates until only the ideal candidate is left and is offered the position. Besides this, the sales recruiter can still bring in a candidate who was not referred by an employee, if they feel that they would be better suited for the position.
As such, the role of sales recruiters is in no way threatened by the increased popularity of the employee referral program. The nature of the recruitment industry is that it evolves. As such, it is imperative for the astute sales recruiter to evolve and morph, developing new strategies in order to suit the needs of their clientele.