How Recruiters Use Referral-Based Hiring to Find Quality Employees

When it comes to a decision as personal as a new job, employees are hesitant to go all in, especially passive job seekers, who represent 70% of the global workforce. A simple job description online or a good employee review on GlassDoor is not enough to motivate this passive group to take action. There is no question that technology is transformational in finding candidates. However, word-of-mouth or referrals remains the best practice to land quality hires compared to other methods. Luckily, recruiters dedicated to your workforce can help lead the effort to receive more of these golden ticket candidates through referrals.

The Power of Referrals

Referrals are instrumental in recruiting talent. It’s essentially the express lane of hiring, with quicker results and fewer obstacles. Referred employees have a 28.5% chance of being hired, while non-referral employees have only a 2.7% chance. What’s the catch? Only 7% of referrals make up the total number of applicants. Employees are simply not actively providing referrals.

Why Do Employees Not Refer Candidates

quality employees referring network

If you have a referral program in place but cannot figure out why employees aren’t using it, it could be for various reasons.

  • Conflict of interest
  • There are no incentives
  • Unorganized onboarding process
  • It’s your only recruiting tool

If your only recruiting tool is expecting employee referrals, you’re doing it wrong. Recruiters organize hiring and onboarding so that it’s a smooth and speedy process. Utilizing a recruiting team to find and maintain new hires could lead to referrals that are four times more likely to be offered a job.

How Do Recruiters Get Referrals?

Recruiters get referrals by adding value through their knowledge of the job market and being a guide during a challenging time. This could be by asking the right questions, providing resume writing services, or helping negotiate compensation. For a lot of recruiting companies, the standard stops there. Recruiters, like the ones at Staffworks, go beyond average measures. Our recruiters offer professional support throughout the entire process, as well as emotional support. We are not limited to only practical tasks like helping candidates edit resumes. Some of the ways we help include,

  • Interview preparation
  • Company knowledge and insiders
  • Check-ins during the first few days, weeks, and months of the new position
  • Job hunting advice
  • Transparency
  • Market knowledge

We get to know candidates personally, from their hobbies and kids’ names to their extended network of family and friends. This connection opens the door for us to confidently ask for and receive referrals because candidates understand firsthand the value that we provide.

Referrals Help Retention

Referred candidates not only save time by being 55% faster to hire, but they also stay longer. 25% of job candidates sourced through career sites remain at a company for more than two years, whereas 45% of employees hired through referrals stay for more than four years!


Finding top talent remains a struggle for many businesses. Fortunately, referrals are faster to hire and more likely to make a long-term commitment. However, a lack of time and resources in a business can result in the system not being efficient and referrals falling through the cracks. Recruiters can simplify this process.


We believe great people know great people. That’s why most of our placements are referrals across the board.

 Talk to a Staffworks recruiter today to increase your reach into our vast talent network HERE!

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