The Joy of Job Referrals

by | March 10, 2009

Feeling reluctant about networking for a new job? Many people worry about 'using' friends and neighbors when they're looking for work. Don't assume they'll think the worst of you. They probably don't mind as much as you imagine; and chances are, they stand to gain a little something by helping you out. Lots of companies offer bonuses to employees that refer new hires. Many New York advertising agencies, for example, offer cash - between $500 and $1,000 for entry- to mid-level employees, and more for higher-ups. Programmer-starved high tech companies may offer premiums of up to $5000 to referring employees, based on the skills of the new hire.

Know anyone that works for 3Com? If so, they're probably on their hands and knees begging for your resume. The company has come up with an offbeat incentive to increase employee referrals: it's raffling off three new, adorable, 3Com-blue Volkswagen Beetles. Up until May 1999, employees who recommend new hires are eligible for the lottery. PricewaterhouseCoopers employees stand to win a pair of Rolex watches if they refer candidates hired for director positions (a strategic management position just below partner). Those that already have watches can opt for the cash - between $1500 and $1700.

The concept of providing monetary incentives for referrals was reportedly pioneered in the early 1970s by Madison Avenue advertiser Bernard Hodes. Recruiters say employee referrals have proven to be among the most cost-effective forms of recruiting. The money they spend in bonuses and other gifts is a pittance compared what they pay professional recruiters. So go ahead and schmooze sans guilt.

Filed Under: Job Search


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