Posts Tagged "referrals"

How to get referred for a job

Posted by in Career, networking, strategy

In a recent Payscale.com post titled, “How Employee Referrals Facilitate Job Recruiting,” they share an infographic from Jobvite which illustrates the importance of employee referrals when it comes to the hiring process.


I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on this part of the process because getting referred for a job is all about my favorite topic: NETWORKING.

My thoughts:

1) You have to stay connected to people in your career via in-person or social networking activities in order to get referred (this applies to business as well as jobs). Using LinkedIn to do this is easy and costs you nothing except a little bit of worthwhile time.

2) You learn about what’s referred to as the “hidden job market” by networking and being connected to and trusted by other people.

3) If you spot an opening at a company for which you’d like to work, and then confirm that you have a 1st or 2nd degree connection into said company (typically via a LinkedIn search), one of your best bets to get referred for the job is to ask your direct contact to ask their contact at the hiring company whether they have an employee referral program or not.

Why? The person that refers you will likely get an employee referral bonus (usually if you stay at the job for at least 3 months), and when reminded of this, they’re more inclined to make the effort on your behalf, and may even suggest you connect so they can feel even more confident about supporting you as a candidate.

So, if you really want to get hired, getting referred by someone the hiring manager or recruiter trusts is the way to go. And, as the Jobvite research shows, not only do employee referrals have a higher hire rate than candidates from other sources, they’re also hired faster!

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A Small Business Owner Enters a Bar

Posted by in biz dev, networking

It’s no surprise that I’m a huge advocate for in-person networking, and I recognize that I cultivate more meaningful connections when I get out from behind my screens, but I recently had to comment on a Huffington Post article titled,”Networking Tips: Why Facebook and LinkedIn May Not Pay Off” which summarized parts of a study of 1000 small biz owners by Manta (rather poorly, I might add).

The study is a thinly disguised plug/pitch for their platform (content marketing by Manta in its most basic form), and HuffPost abetted by titling their article with the link bait names Facebook and LinkedIn, but I went ahead and called this out anyway because I’m concerned about the misguided conclusions some HuffPost readers might draw about LinkedIn and Facebook:

When asked how they chose partners or vendors, 56 percent of small-business owners surveyed by Manta said they simply ask people they know.

What I wrote was:

Well, how do you think you get to KNOW people to ask for referrals in the first place? You may have met them only briefly at a networking event or bar or wedding, but you get to know then by linking to them online so that it’s easier to stay in touch and connected.

Most of us do the actual linking to a new contact via social networking sites like Facebook and, because it’s less creepy (especially if you met them while throwing back a few in a bar), LinkedIn.

LinkedIn may not always be where a relationship originates, but in today’s world, and more often than not, it’s where the “knowing” that leads to real referrals typically happens.

Most people I know don’t just send business your way until they’ve gotten to know you a bit and feel that they can trust and confidently recommend you whether you’re a new contact (met in an elevator?) or an old one.

IMHO, we need all of the things listed to have a decent network and be successful in this world.

Portion of graphic from Manta SMB survey How would YOU have responded to the Manta survey? Here are a few of the questions which you can answer via comments below. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

1) Where do you get your biggest business boosts from?

2) Where or from whom do you seek advice?

3) Where are the most interesting places to connect? (Note: they asked INTERESTING which most likely skewed the answers.)

Name intersting places to connect - SMB Survey

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Five attributes of an ideal connection

Posted by in networking

As a follow-up to my recent blog post titled, “How NOT to network in 2011,” I knew I had to share this smart post from John Sumser on Glassdoor.com’s blog. He’s talking about recommendations for a job, but this applies to everything. The link is at the end of this and here’s what motivated me to re-post this:

A connection who doesn’t have all five of the following attributes can’t be helpful. A good person for a recommendation must:

* Know someone who has jobs and the authority to fill them;
* Be credible with that person;
* Be able to pledge her credibility on your ability to do the job;
* Know you well enough to bet her reputation on you; and,
* Believe that your behavior will reflect positively on her.

Referrals in actionAs John notes, “That’s a tall order,” so do think carefully about who and how you ask for recommendations, references or referrals going forward.

Here’s the link to the Glassdoor’s blog post.

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Oh, by the way, give me some referrals even though I’ve done nothing to deserve them

Posted by in networking, pay it forward

Okay, so that was not exactly what the sticker said on the outside of the handwritten note (not a thank you, btw) we received from what I’ll just call a “grey collar” worker we have in our lives right now, but it might as well have.

What it actually said was, “Oh, by the way, I’m never too busy for your referrals.” And, yes, it was on a black and gold very old-school-looking sticker almost exactly like the one below and it was stuck on the back of the envelope.Lame handout sticker

My first question is simply where does one get the chutzpah?! The reality is this person has done absolutely nothing yet to prove that he’s good at his profession, let alone deserving of some of our social capital in the form of a referral to a close friend or valued business contact. Have you ever been on the receiving end of such a thing? But wait, it gets better. At the bottom of this person’s emails you can also find the phrase, “Business is good, but I’m never too busy to serve a referral from you.” Everyone that receives an email from this guy sees that? Where are they teaching this stuff?! I’m afraid to think about how many other people in his industry see that and then cut and paste that sentence to add it to their own email signature. Shame on all of them.

Plenty has been written about classier and more effective ways to ask for a referral (here’s a good post), so I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I did want to offer one of the best ways I’ve found to ask for a referral:

AFTER I’ve delivered or completed a job well done or did a temperature check with a client to which they responded positively, I ask if they personally know of anyone else that might benefit from what I’m doing or have done for them.

You can also ask if, by any chance, they have recently mentioned you or your company to anyone in a positive way (this tactic is noted in this intelligent post). I’ve found that people often do this, but don’t always have the time or even remember to provide an introduction or contact info to the party in need. And there are also cases where they don’t tell you when they’ve paid it forward on your behalf (kind of the point of paying it forward). Whatever the case, sometimes they respond with a, “As a matter of fact, I was just telling Barb over at TON Productions what a great job you are doing for us when I sat next to her at the Ad Club lunch last week. She asked me if I knew any biz dev pros well worth their fee.”

Then, if you know the contact, or even you if you don’t, ask your client if he’d mind if you followed up with Barb and mentioned that he shared that he gave you a glowing review. I’ve never received an objection to that request, and, btw,  if I’ve landed business because of a client’s good word of mouth on my behalf, there’s usually a handwritten thank you note along with a nice gift card sent priority mail to them stat.

Bottom line: I believe it is never appropriate to ask a client for referrals until you’ve proven your value to them, and you’ve confirmed that they’re happy. If you’ve had any examples of this not being the case, please share them with us because if someone is advocating this as a tactic, I want some real proof that it is effective. Although, I guess it is possible that this guy has just gone rogue, but I doubt it because it wasn’t too hard to find that lame sticker online. Sigh.

P.S. If you like this type of thing, you’ll love my book - I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Any Networking Event. Just sayin’…

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A blessing from LinkedIn

Posted by in networking, pay it forward

A blessing from LinkedIn goes a long way with me, and after reading a press release from Passitto announcing their integration with the powerhouse professional networking site, I found myself on a half hour long research path today. Lots to say about this concept (love it!), but I thought this comment on Mashable was particularly worth sharing:

“….I know a lot of people who would love it if I were to connect them with other business providers I know. I usually don’t do this because it takes too long to make this type of connection. It looks like Passitto may make this process easier, allowing me to get brownie points with my customers for helping them find other business providers. I don’t know of any other website that does this yet.”

One of the other things I found interesting is that Passitto was co-founded by an attorney that often found himself in the position of referring clients to other specialists when their need went beyond his practice focus or if his load was just too heavy.  Both are things I can relate to, but the comment above was something I just never thought much about.  Simply not having time to make a proper introduction or quality connection has to be a major reason why so many referrals just don’t happen.  Lack of time is an all too familiar complaint these days and a quality tool that can help facilitate connections and referrals is a welcome addition to my toolkit.

The other reason I’m intrigued is because on the company’s blog I even found a reference to social capital in this paragraph by the CEO and other co-founder:

“When exchanging referrals within a tight-knit group of business contacts, you may decide you won’t require those members to bid credits upon your referrals. One possible reason is you are probably acquaintances and familiar with these other members, and your incentive for providing these referrals is to receive reciprocal referrals in exchange. You know these people. You provide them referrals, they give them back to you, and everything is great. You gain some social capital in addition to reciprocal referrals.”

My goal is to explore Passitto within the next week and see if it’s worth my time and a LinkedIn import, and if it is, start looking for referrals from me within the system soon!

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