There is a common practice of recruiting for vacant company positions through recommendation by current company workers, and it’s spreading throughout modern business. The solution is fairly profitable: your workers might know one or two people who may prove useful for your business. This fresh blood can breathe new life into your company, bringing more knowledge, which can lead to more profits from the financial point of view. An HR manager can use this “chain of connections”, saving time and effort for other tasks.

The idea is as simple as it could possibly be: you just ask your employees to propose a candidate for vacant positions within your business. The source doesn’t really matter: the candidate may belong to any of your employees’ circles of connections – friends, family, previous work colleagues – anything will do. Any of your workers can accidentally (or intentionally) suggest an individual you may not have found through traditional channels.

The process of constructing such a recruiting method is one of the key ways to grow as an HR manager with regard to the required communication and networking skills. You can’t always rely on open vacancies and call prospective candidates 24/7. It can’t work forever.

You already have a head start when it comes to a recommendation-based search. You are not communicating with some guy out there looking for a job whom you can trust even less than a late-autumn weather forecast. You’re in contact with a professional who is working with you, who knows your company and who knows enough to recommend a person who can fit into the existing team. And, more importantly, he or she knows the person. If your business has some resources, you can provide your employee with a bonus for recommendation – the reward will motivate your worker to bring in a reliable person. Your contact is in the most profitable position!

What’s more, when you do your headhunting with a professional, you already have dedicated action aimed at the required vacancy. You’re facing the market you’re choosing, the one you are interested in the most.

Considering the above, you have clear skies to perform any action you find suitable. But… let’s not rush into things just yet.

You might want to consider some key points to lead you in the right direction with recruitment through recommendations. If you follow these, you will have your “net” intact and strong enough to catch the people you are interested.

  • Do not ignore any of your employees. Not a single one. Even if your employee has only three months’ experience with your company, don’t count him or her out. There might be friends.. and there might be individuals you need among them.
  • Do not offer anything you can’t provide. It’s kind of a golden rule applicable not only in HR but in life itself. Possibilities can still be possibilities, but your company’s resources may be insufficient to provide something you want to offer your candidate.
  • Do not go in all guns blazing. Whoa! Whoa! Stop right there. Yes, you can ask your employee for the contact details of someone he knows is looking for a job, but it’s certainly better if you approach at a distance: just ask some plain questions about previous work experience and former colleagues. Ask him or her to tell you about the best people he or she knows.
  • Do not hesitate to ask more. You certainly want to ask more questions about your potential candidate: skills, abilities, experience, salary (if you can), personal notes from the recommender (if you must). And, yes,the best time to analyze the person on the go. You can save time, patience and some nerves along the way.
  • Do not stop despite failures. Failed to get the good guy with the skills for your company? Had your offer declined? No need to be upset. Just save his contact information somewhere – it may prove useful in the future.
  • Do not stop growing your network. Your customers, your suppliers, your bank, your barber, your neighbor… you never know where your next co-worker might come from.
  • Do not hesitate to ask your CEO to reward your workers for recommendations. It’s one thing to offer your friend a paying job, but quite another to earn yourself some extra money and get your friend a job. That’s a winwin situation, isn’t it?
  • Do aim for people with experience. You’ll have more chance of recruiting a person who has worked in the same job for 3–5 years: he or she might want to change environment and meet new people. This kind of individual is generally tired and bored; their hearts are calling out for an adventure. And here you are, offering them one – perfect timing!
  • Do not expect a walk in a park. Growing your own contacts network and possible recruitment from another company is huge task. The ability to lure a talent from another company is one of the top abilities an HR manager can possess. And be prepared for some negotiations, some really long ones.

Building such a “network of connections” is a long journey, but it’s an important challenge for you as an HR manager. Throw out all those patterns of recruitment, at least for now.

Get armed with your main skill – talking.