I’m Furious

I still go nuts for The Fast and the Furious, the perennial partners-in-crime popcorn movie. In this mindless tale, Dom brings his police buddy Brian over to the dark side and (7 sequels later) their crew is still robbing banks. Funny enough, it didn’t take much effort for Dom to co-opt Brian.

Now, let’s talk about how you can co-opt a partner-in-crime to help you find amazing candidates.

In a second, I’ll introduce you to–not just one, but–two of the most valuable partners-in-crime. They’ve helped me find Rockstars time and time again.

fast-and-furiousIf you’re a regular reader, you know that I have an unhealthy obsession with the Employee Referral Program. It’s truly the holy grail of recruiting. When properly implemented, it’s faster, cheaper, and better than any other source of candidates.

Now, let’s take that to the next level… by extending it to your customers and your vendors. You may be hesitant to ask them for help in hiring. I get it. But there are a whole buncha reasons why you should make them eligible to refer, just as your employees can.

How much do I love asking customers and vendors to refer candidates?

Let me count the ways:

1. They have a vested interest in your company’s success. So they’re motivated to invest some time to think of great candidates they know.

2. They’re flattered by being asked for advice. Who isn’t?

3. They already know your business & what makes it tick. Because they have a close working knowledge, this added layer of screening will help screen out low-quality potential referrals.

4. They’ll sometimes shock you & throw their own hat in the ring by whispering “hmmm, I might be interested.”

5. They’ll be reminded of your company’s growth. We all want to be part of a winning team… nothing conveys growth like, “We’re hiring”

6. You’ll tap into a totally different pool. Because your customers and vendors likely travel in different circles than you and your employees, they have a unique set of contacts.

7. Asking them actually strengthens your relationships. By helping with recruiting, the non-employee friends of your firm may learn to better understand your firm and appreciate you more.

8. It gives you– and your sales reps – one more reason to call your customers. (I’m always looking for those.)

9. Even though you make them eligible to earn the referral bonus, many won’t (or are prohibited by their company’s policy from) take the money. Imagine that: infinite ROI

Put simply, your Employee Referral Program is the best money you’ve ever spent. And adding your customers and vendors will dramatically expand the number of people serving as 24/7 talent scouts for your business.

Remember: Your Employee Referral Program should be generating at least 50% of your hires (not candidates, but actual hires!). If it’s not – or if you don’t yet have a program–then Chapter 4 of my free book will show you how to do it step-by-step.

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman launched his recruiting career at Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart, the preeminent global executive search firms. Today, he’s Chief Talent Officer at Chicago-based Strong Suit Executive Search. Along the way, Jeff created four companies, backed by $50 million in venture capital. He currently teaches the MBA course about recruiting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and hosts the five-star Strong Suit Podcast. Jeff has been featured by Inc., Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and other media outlets. He holds a master’s degree from Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from The Wharton School.

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