You are working in this organization for long time. You have a close friend, in dire need of job. You send the resume to HR team and no response. Gradually you feel guilty, powerless and frustrated. Can not even get an audience for a friend in the place where you worked for so many years!? The same friend could come to interview in your own organzation through a recruitment agency. You feel humiliated.
Sure. HR is arrogant. May be they have nexus with recruitment agencies? Sounds familiar? Read on.
First let me side step the question of nexus and HR person getting a cut from the recruitment agency. I do not know if it exists. I have been a hiring manager, not on HR team side . Let me talk about what typically goes wrong when employees refer candidates.
First, Look at the context of recruitment team – HR recruitment teams are relatively small. 2-3 members for 1000 strong organization. If the organization has, say 5 percent attrition and net 20% employee growth. You can estimate the open positions. Now think about the success rate. I have seen that 1 open position for experienced technical professional could require interviews of 5 to 20 candidates (Whatever I know from Indian job market). i.e. so many interviews to be scheduled/rescheduled.
1. Email subject “Resume of my friend”
Friend sends it with subject “My Resume”. You forward it to HR team. It frustrates to see emails with subject line “My Resume”, “My Friends Resume” , ” “, “As Discussed”. This subject line conveys nothing. There are many such emails from you and many such valuable employees like you.
If 50% of the organization refers friends and they do it every few days/weeks, what happens? You can imagine the email traffic. To sort the emails, make sense out of it, match against open positions, it takes lot of work.
Could you not send email with subject “Profile: 5yrs Industrial Automation, SW development – technical lead role” or something like that? Think about it.
2. There are referral intranet portals. Yes, but.. the info is not always up to date. I found that several of these portals are not as friendly to deal with. The hiring managers do not update all the job openings. Easier is to send request to hiring team and/or just circulate informally in same group seeking referrals.
The hiring team might pick latest resumes and also trigger hiring agency. The work for HR team is lot simpler when external agency is involved. Unless you are insider of the respective group, your referral resume won’t reach the team with actual needs.
You will never know how many actual open positions exist in your own organization.
3. Employees do not filter the resumes they receive
If you get the resume of a friend’s resume, how many times do you even open before forwarding? Suppose you know that a friend may not be up to the mark. Would you filter at your level? or would still send it in order to try luck? Anyways, there is no accountability, right?
4. Employees do not follow up and close it
Lot of times HR folks would pick the most recently sent the profiles. Often, a resume sent some time back is likely to have made her move and it is waste of energy even to reach. If you had sent resume without any specific position announcement, you would need to put lot of effort as employee to follow up.
The referral may get call for interview for one role. After that many employees give up. After all, they have ‘proven’ to the friend with one interview opportunity. For another position, could the same person be considered? Who should push and make it happen?
5. Lot simpler to deal with agencies
On demand from hiring manager, the recruitment team just needs to deal with one person. This person takes responsibility. The agency would not send ‘unsolicited’ resumes which needs to be kept in database and then queried later. All are resumes come on demand. they come with latest information and availability-guarantee. And they follow up regularly. And as relationship deepens, they keenly watch the hiring needs and proactively line up profiles.
Another fact is that recruitment team is the powerless supplier within the organization. This agency treats this team as the royals.
Overall it makes it lot more attractive to deal with agencies than referral candidates.
If you are an employee who intends to refer friends, you need to understand the above picture. Hopefully, you are lot more effective in referring your people for employment, henceforth.