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The Secret to unlocking your Employee Referral goldmine

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Why referrals are key in unlocking employment opportunities 

By Kimani Kinuthia

The job market is evolving at a very high rate locally and globally due to various determining factors which include technology and improved Human Resource processes.

Access to good quality jobs is the most important aspect for many employers and job seekers as this is what primarily determines the success rate of a company.

Employers use various methods to attain candidates for their roles which range from social media, using referrals, using agencies, and just plainly listing on their websites.

Over time, different employers have inched towards methods that suit them best and referrals are proving to be the go-to method for most of them.

Getting referrals is an easy and almost always recommended way of getting candidates, but employers need to understand the need to be very strategic in how they acquire the referrals.

Employers need to tap into their mutual connections as they have a social and professional network that in turn can connect them to prospective candidates that they have interacted with previously.

This increases their chances of getting good-quality candidates as opposed to reaching out to the candidates they want.

Hiring job applicants who were referred is a common practice, and prior work supports its value. Referrals work primarily because they allow firms to select workers who are better suited for particular jobs, hence getting a perfect match for a particular role.

There are various reasons why a referred candidate is easier to hire, as compared to creating a job post, shortlisting candidates, and settling on a final candidate.

For the longest time, hiring processes have remained unchanged. Companies spend hours reviewing resumes after posting jobs and awaiting applications. With referrals, it is easier because the position gets filled faster.

Recruitment is a time-consuming and costly process. It is never just about creating a job ad, shortlisting, and picking a final candidate. Using an agency or recruitment board means that you bear the cost of posting the job to find a candidate pool to shortlist from.

With an employee referral program, this is massively cut down as you have a specific number of candidates to target. You are unlikely to run the loss of not getting a couple of quality hires as referred candidates are often professionals as well in their current roles.

Having connections and a rapport with a person referring candidates to you is easier than waiting for applications from different sources. This makes the process very easy and makes it easy for them to blend into the new organization easily and faster.

Over time, Company culture has become an integral part of organizational growth. Most organizations prefer a quality hire who will ensure the company’s values and missions are shared appropriately. With referrals, the blending process is easy as the candidate is usually accustomed to the organization beforehand.

As a business leader, it is important to change your strategy to fit changing times, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as this is the only way to stay ahead in your industry.

Due to COVID-19, most businesses shut down and are slowly reopening. Hiring has become an urgent need for most companies and being versatile as an organization will attract good quality candidates. The new era requires that both employers and candidates coexist for the betterment of the company.

As an employer, exploring these avenues that are less time-consuming and less expensive, will ensure that as an employer, you maximize on the referral programs and minimize spending, to get a quality hire. This in turn leads to the growth of the company.


The Writer is Head of HR at BrighterMonday Kenya and Uganda





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