By Gary Stauble | Tuesday July 4, 2012
Referrals are by far the best way to find top talent and separate yourself from the weaker recruiters who simply troll the job boards. Your ability to tap your network for referrals gives you impressive credibility when selling your services. This also increases your confidence in the value that you can provide.
Referrals create instant trust with the referred candidate and therefore shrink the process of having selling yourself. Referred candidates tend to be more open with recruiters and less evasive. Referrals are also highly targeted as they come from direct communication with someone in the field.
Do people really benefit from referring candidates to you? The answer is yes, in some small ways, they do. First off, they feel good by being able to help connect people whom they respect. It let’s them know that they are a person “in the know”. Finally, they will likely get better treatment from you if they refer quality people to you.
Talking about your career with a stranger can be an intimidating process. When the candidate realizes that you have been referred to them by a trusted friend or co-worker, they feel safer. Their anxiety drops and they open up about what they really want in their next move. Being referred also saves them time in evaluating different recruiters to work with.
The key to getting referrals is to make their acquisition into a daily process in your office. You can plant referral seeds in many subtle ways. For instance, you can add a signature line to your email such as:
“PS, I grow my client list through quality referrals from people like you. Do you know anyone who could benefit from my services”?
Another example of an easy method for getting referrals is to send a card to thank your clients just for being a client. Send it out of the blue- for no apparent reason. When people feel appreciated, they are more likely to refer.