Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Can I Refer A Co-Worker

I think the guy I go to lunch with everyday really would be great as a business analyst in the IT department but I don’t think anyone over there takes it seriously when he applies for a job. I want to formally refer him next time they have an opening.

We've been having an interesting dialog with some of our customers about whether or not they would include current employees in their referral programs. Our application, Referral Link, automatically searches an employee’s network and prompts them about potential candidates they could refer. Everybody has lots of their co-workers that they are connected to in various social and professional networks. Should we filter out those names?

A few customers say absolutely yes. Filter out all current employees. That was not too unexpected.

But what is more interesting is the companies who are saying, NO: do not filter them out. Their argument is that a co-worker’s opinion about a fellow employee is valuable input and, when you are a fairly large organization, it can be hard to stay close to everybody’s interests and skills (even when you believe you have a good program to promote internal movement and career growth).

This can freak out employees too. When they get a name forwarded to them as a potential candidate for referral and that person is someone they already work with, they usually discount it as a bad recommendation. But is it?

How many of us know employees who languished in their organization for years and then finally left for better opportunities elsewhere. Don’t we wish someone would have let us know they were well suited for a new job within the organization?

"I work in PC support but what I’d really like to do is work in customer service, but no one over there seems to take me seriously when I apply."
Maybe a little “internal referral” help would push this along before the company, pushes them out. 

Hey buddy, can you spare me a referral!