The more you research it, the more it becomes clear: almost always, the first step of any hiring process should be asking your existing consultants in my network are a potential fit for this role.

Why? Research shows getting a referral is a cheaper way to hire, a faster way to hire generally produces a better hire and lowers the turnover rate or loss of a contract with the client.

Referral is not a new technique but it is a very effective practice that should be used in your recruitment cycle. By encouraging your current consultants on contract with your agency to recruit their friends and contacts for open positions you’re greatly increasing your productivity and saving money. And as social networks continue to grow in their reach, empowering your network to refer candidates becomes even more attractive.

Here’s why Splice believes referrals are so important.

Referral Advantages

1. Quality is better

Employee referrals of higher quality and more likely to be hired than other candidates because employees only refer contacts who they know will be good fits for the position and organization as the recommendation will reflect either well or poorly on his/her judgment.

2. Speed to hire

It’s a competitive world out there. Speed hire quality and available consultants are tough. Hiring via referral is quicker than hiring through a post on the platform or career site as several steps for your recruitment employees — job description writing, platform posting, applicant scouring, and candidate screening— are unnecessary when the applicant is a referral. Referral candidates are also more likely to accept offers than other kinds of candidates, further limiting the time needed to fill positions.

Also saves time by minimizing or eliminating face-to-face interviews with potential candidates or going to industry conferences and events. Your internal labor costs are reduced as you’ll be spending less time working on hires.

3. Quicker onboarding

Higher quality hires are generally able to get up to speed faster than other hires. A referred consultant has an established relationship with the current consultant who recommended them, providing them a go-to person for questions about the job, workplace environment, and company culture.

4. Improved retention

Referred consultant services work at companies longer than non-referred employees owing to the implicit commitment to the friend or contact who referred him/her as well as higher contract satisfaction. They are also agreeable to project extensions as well. This personal investment leads to his/her sticking around longer — and being more engaged — with the agency and the company.

5. Positive exposure to the company 

When your current consultant on contract provides referrals they emphasize your company’s best qualities when amongst their peers, thus reiterating the positives that make your organization one worth working for. And the right incentives for referrals will make your employees feel appreciated, which will in turn help raise motivation.

6. Better candidate fit

In addition to being better quality candidates, referred applicants are likelier to share your organization’s values as understood from conversations with your current employees—a bad cultural fit would have been weeded out and not referred. Once hired, these new consultants will better align with the project and company vision and mission.

7. Great for specialized roles

There are some positions that are hard to fill through the conventional channels. So, if you have such a position open, then you can definitely try the employee referral program.

Employees network a lot with various people in their own profession or otherwise and this is how they come across some rare talent, which is required for the extremely specialized position.

8. Brand awareness

Building your brand is critical, but it’s often difficult for agencies to do, especially when there is a large market of competitors. Leveraging referrals helps build positive feelings about your services that help build your company’s brand.