The most effective method for landing that job? A referral network strategy.

A referral network strategy begins with having a goal and target. Unfortunately, most job-seekers approach the hunt with no target in sight. They search keywords online and are met with an overwhelming sea of job opportunities. It is important to reverse engineer your job search, and target exactly what you want in a job. A referral network strategy can help! 

To begin your referral network strategy, compile a running list of 7-10 companies that appear to suit your interests. Perhaps you connect with their brand, share like-minded values, or know that they have great employee satisfaction ratings. Whatever your reason, target the companies you are drawn to and learn more about them.  

Next, create a list of people you know personally who work in the companies on your target list. These people can be a direct referral for you! If you do not have personal connections to your targeted company, don’t lose hope. Create another list of people you know who might have connections to someone in that company. Your first-degree contact can introduce you to a second- or third-degree connection, then you can build your referral network into the company.

If you do not have any connections to the company, leverage your business intelligence. Use tools like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to find out who the decision-makers are in your target company, and work to make a connection directly with hiring managers.

Using the referral network strategy can help you get hired because you are building your network and strengthening your connections in direct relation to the company you have in mind. Here are a few reasons why a referral network strategy is such a powerful method: 

  • Referrals are the leading source for the best candidates for 88% of employers.
  • Referred candidates tend to fit the culture of a workplace better than those hired from other sources.
  • Retention rates are better for referred hires.
  • Almost two-thirds of the employee workforce at a company will refer someone. Many companies offer some type of referral bonus program!

Furthermore, you have a 50% chance of getting an interview if you come with a referral, versus only a 3% chance without a referral. With a referral your chance of getting hired automatically improves from 1.2% to 20%!

“It’s all about who you know” is still relevant! You probably have access to more connections than you think. Take advantage of your resources to have a successful job-hunt experience!