Use internal sources to get hired

Employee referrals can help you get the job you want.

What is the leading way of landing your next job? In the beginning of this century, job search experts claimed unadvertised jobs accounted for up to 80 percent of the available positions. Employees would tell their friends and family members of openings and positions would be filled before there was ever a need to market it to a larger audience. Although this still occurs, with the rise and ease of online job search engines and job boards, this “hidden job market” has been greatly reduced.

The top source of hires remains to be employee referrals, accounting for over 30 percent in 2017—up 5 percent from last year. “SilkRoad–Source of Hire 2017” provides this data by analyzing 14 million applicants, 329,000 hires and 655,000 interviews surveying hundreds of companies. They also found it takes four times more applications for an external applicant to get an interview than a candidate recommended internally.

According to “CareerXroads 2016 Employee Referrals Review” of over 70 large companies in the U.S., 87.6 percent of the companies surveyed indicated they had an employee referral process for at least some positions. To encourage employee referrals, 58.4 percent of the companies surveyed by CareerXroads indicated they offer bonuses to employees for every referral hired.

CareerXroads also found 68.4 percent of the companies indicated they treat referred candidates differently and the majority of the companies specified they processed the applicants faster. Hiring a candidate from an employee referral costs the company less and increases the longevity of the employment. Employee referrals can be a win-win-win situation for all involved—the company, the internal employee and the job candidate.

Based on these surveys, Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H offer some considerations to support your successful job search.

Know where your connections are employed, what they do, who is responsible for hiring and what the company culture is like. This can help navigate and streamline the job search process for you. This information can also help you determine if your employment interest and skill set are a good fit with the company, thus saving a lot of time and energy for you and the employer.

Inform your network you are looking for work, what your career goals are, companies you are interested in and your relevant skills. Ask your family and friends if they know anyone who works at the company you are interested in and if they would be willing to provide an introduction.

Expand your network and build relationships with current employees of a company you are interested in. Ask to interview an employee for a school or independent study project. Attend meetings, events or career fairs where company representative are at. Research the company to see if there are any volunteer or internship opportunities.

MSU Extension provides key insights on how to maximize your job search through programs and resources offered through the Career Exploration and Workforce Preparation state-wide work team. 

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