The hidden value in existing networks

So, how many degrees of separation are you from Kevin Bacon?   I know that I am three.   And I am three through two different networks in my life.   The first network is my family network, and the second is through the work that I did for years in High School Theater. At Banister International, we recognize the importance of these networks, so their creation through referral programs and other venues to connect are all ways that we add value to our clients.

I point out these two networks to reinforce the fact that we all have many networks or branches of our networks.  Often times, I am approached for referrals on particular positions or am approached by people looking for new opportunities and asking to be referred to others that I know within my networks.   There are many times when I can directly help someone and send them directly to another person who is either looking for a new role or has an open position to fill.

There are times when I will say to another person, “I know that this person is not looking for a new role but for the following reasons, I highly recommend that you connect with them”.  For example, there’s a great leader in my network that I have regularly sent others to connect with, who has been with his current employer for 20 years. He’s probably not going to be making any moves.  But this individual knows the market, industry, and function so incredibly well, that they gladly speak with others to help them on their journey.   I also receive calls from those who were referred to me by others and I, in turn, refer them on.

It’s through this referral process that we can make new connections and keep current connections fresh.  The act of referring someone is both a selfless and self-serving action.  We refer others as a means to aid fellow professionals in search of something.  This action is a means to be selfless in that you hope they will receive what they are asking for, with no gain for yourself.   Yet, it’s through this referral action that we gain more people in our networks who will be grateful for the connections that you provided them with.

84% of companies have now instituted some type of employee referral program.  There are studies that show that your best hires are from those referrals – one such survey revealed that referred candidates were hired at a rate of about 30%, compared to an average rate of 7% for candidates sourced through other methods. Furthermore, using referrals is shown to increase retention by 40%.

A contributing factor to the success of such programs is that your employees know your company better than anyone else.  They know what it takes to be successful and to have a meaningful experience at the company.  They also know that the referral will become a co-worker, and they won’t want to refer a future co-worker that they wouldn’t want to work with.  The employee referral programs are another means to raise your talent bar because an informed employee knows other great talent.

Referral programs are shown to not only produce excellent new employees, they have also been proven to retain your current employees.  They’re another mechanism for employees to show how vested they are in the future of the company.  They refer others because they believe in the mission, vision, and values of the organization.  They believe in it so much that they want friends, family or former co-workers to join.  The overall success of employee referral programs are the biggest and most successful tool in a Corporate Talent Acquisition function.

There are also external third parties, like temporary agencies and placement firms that can leverage some type of referral program to help them in filling their talent pipelines.  These programs are a way to not only find candidates for open roles, but they are also outstanding from the perspective of brand exposure. Both clients and candidates benefit from these programs by learning what these agencies/firms do, the types of roles they work-on, and the types of people they need for their business.

You may have heard Banister talk about the work that we do in transforming our clients’ workforce through the identification of game-changing talent.  We’ve also discussed how we enable transformation through consulting engagements where we provide new solutions to address a business challenge.  The establishment of a referral program for any organization will transform the way not only the external market perceives them, but it will also boost the way your own employees view employment at the company.

Banister can support the establishment of these types of programs as we have our own internal subject matter experts in setting up and running these programs.  To discuss how we could work together, please get in touch with us at: Contact – Banister International

Author: Matt Hamlet, Chief of Staff, Banister International

Source: Jobvite