The staffing and recruiting profession is blessed with a number of tools for finding and attracting quality candidates. The Internet, social media, telephones, ads in newspapers and magazines, and job fairs are just some of the avenues available to connect us with people in today’s marketplace. What all of these have in common is that they put you in touch with people who know other people. As a result, you might think that most recruiters get lots of referrals.
In polling recruiters over the past few years, I was startled to discover that most indicated that they receive candidate referrals from the people they connect with less than 20% of the time. When asked why, the majority of these recruiters indicated they simply do not ask for referrals as often as they could.
Getting referrals has been an integral part of our business since its inception. It is my belief that the main cause for not getting referrals is that many recruiters have simply gotten out of the consistent practice of asking. In all of the seminars I conducted this year, the overall consensus of each audience is that the problem lies in poor habits and not in people being unwilling to help.
If you have any doubts that asking for and receiving referrals is a natural part of our business, then check out the following five truths about referrals:
Based upon these truths, the key to getting more referrals is to believe you deserve them and then ask for what you deserve. An easy way to remember this is to “ask early and ask always.” Ask each and every person you connect with a question such as “Who do you recommend I speak with about this opportunity?”
For those of you who are asking, “Isn’t asking everyone I talk with being pushy,” that is a choice that you can make. You can be a pushy recruiter who does not take no for answer. Or you can ask each person you speak with for what you need in a very nice way. Whoever coined the phrase “it doesn’t hurt to ask” rings true when asking for referrals.
My challenge to you is to start asking for referrals from everyone. Just like the muscles in our arms and legs, your referral muscle will get stronger and work more effortlessly the more you use it.
- Scott Wintrip
Scott Wintrip, PCC (scottw@StaffingU.net) is Founder and President of StaffingU, the leader in providing relationship-building techniques guaranteed to grow your business. For information on StaffingU's programs and services, including TeleClasses (live telephone-based classes), Virtual StaffingU (web-based courses), individual and group coaching, on-site training and speaking, and consulting visit www.StaffingU.net or call 866-SU-WORKS (789-6757).