Movieclips Monday: Referrals and the perils of dating

Recruiters and, of course, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) professionals love referrals. There are a number of recruitment partners, technologies, and programs focused on capturing referrals. The prevailing wisdom is that in general we make more hires, and hopefully better ones, based on introductions from people we know. After all, the candidates being submitted as referrals have already been vetted once by some of the toughest critics—their friends, family members, or acquaintances who not only might end up working alongside them, but will likely also be held responsible for that person’s performance and fit for the job.

After all, you’re not going to vouch for someone you don’t think can do the job, right? Because if that person fails, it will ultimately be your judgment will come into play. And so we find that with most referrals, employee retention and performance are better, along with employee satisfaction and productivity.

On the lighter side, referrals sometimes feel like the setting up someone on a date. Every time someone tries to “set me up” with a referral I’m grateful but anxious. You never know how things might end up. Taken to the extreme, you might just end up with someone like Andie in this scene from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.



As with dating, being set up with a referral can lead to these types of awkward moments. There also might be the fear of offending an existing relationship if the referral doesn’t work out.
Maybe I’m a little socially awkward or just overly polite, but I’ll admit it can get a little uncomfortable. But don’t be afraid, referrals are still one of the best tools for recruiters. Just be sure to consider how things might work out in the end and keep an open mind when someone sends a referral your way.

This post was written by Doug Lubin, a successful Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Practice Leader and Consultant, who brings over a decade of expertise building sustainable solutions for clients and partners.  Doug helps firms develop high performing talent acquisition and management strategies locally and globally.  Learn more about Doug.

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