Beyond 1st Degree Friendships: Recommendations

Value of Recommendations for Recruiters

Recommendations, especially for recruiters, act as a currency in the world of talent acquisition. They provide a lens into a candidate’s past performance, character, and work ethic, offering a more holistic view of the individual beyond what’s presented on a resume or during an interview.

For recruiters, a recommendation can be a critical means by which to prioritise potential candidates. In an industry where time is of the essence, having insights from previous colleagues or associates can guide recruiters in focusing their efforts on high probability candidates, thus maximising efficiency and increasing the likelihood of a successful hire.

Filling in the Gaps

Recommendations can also provide depth to a candidate’s profile. While skills and qualifications are crucial, the nuances of a person’s character, teamwork, adaptability, and other soft skills can be harder to gauge. Recommendations often touch upon these attributes, offering recruiters a fuller picture of how a candidate might fit into a prospective role and company culture.

In essence, recommendations serve as a bridge of trust. For recruiters, they offer an added layer of verification and insight, ensuring that the talent they bring to organisations aligns with the needs and values of those companies, leading to successful, long-term placements.

Additionally, in sectors or roles where technical or specialised skills are paramount, recommendations can attest to a candidate’s expertise and hands-on experience. Such endorsements can be invaluable when the prospect’s online profile may lack certain depth in terms of key words or detail, however cross referencing the profile with someone who knows them may make an enormous difference. We have seen many cases in the Referable app where an almost blank profile had returned to the recruiter with a recommendation from their former colleague. In almost all cases such limited profiles would normally go ignored. 

Referable matches employees and network members with past colleagues, regardless of their LinkedIn connection status, providing recruiters with a significantly more comprehensive referral pool.

Beyond Surface-Level Connections

Traditional referral systems generally offer two primary methods for employees to suggest potential hires. They can either manually input the details of their recommended contact or upload their LinkedIn connections, allowing recruiters to sift through for promising candidates and request feedback. However, these methods tend to only tap into immediate connections — the “known” friends — overlooking the vast potential of the “known about” prospects. 

It’s unrealistic to assume that every employee has direct ties with top talent from their past roles. They might not have had the opportunity to connect with certain individuals, especially in large companies with multiple divisions. Some high-potential candidates might be “recognised” rather than intimately known. They might be names that were frequently highlighted in company accolades or individuals with a positive reputation that extended beyond their immediate peer group.

Full Coverage Sourcing Tools 

Our sourcing tools should push us past these immediate, surface-level connections, pointing us toward all high probability candidates. The absence of a direct connection or intimacy with an employee doesn’t diminish a candidate’s potential worth. Meanwhile in terms of identifying such candidates I have talked in other posts about the known advantages of name recognition over recall, and Referable takes full advantage of this memory hack. 

Referable matches employees and network members with past colleagues, regardless of their LinkedIn connection status, providing recruiters with a significantly more comprehensive referral pool. These “possible” candidates often transition to “probable” picks as more information is gathered. With a comprehensive list of prospects in hand, recruiters can then plan their outreach and engagement to maximise the likelihood of a successful hire. In taking this approach to focus on pre-qualified prospects recruiters can avoid false positives and free up to 4X of their time for higher value tasks.

Both referrals and recommendations play indispensable roles in the recruiters toolkit. Employee referrals aren’t just about speeding things up; they bring about better fits and longer stays, thanks to the trust factor. Recommendations, meanwhile, give recruiters that extra edge, letting us see the candidate in a light that resumes just don’t capture. It’s about diving deeper than the obvious connections and tapping into a wealth of potential talent. With tools like Referable, recruiters can broaden their scope and make sharper, more informed choices on prospects beyond the first degree

Referable can save the referrer up to 20X of their time and the recruiter up to 4X. These time savings mean users can spend their time on high value tasks like engaging candidates rather than sourcing!

Referable AI has been developed by a team experienced in executive search, RPO, in-house recruiting and HR tech to help both in-house and agency recruiters to solicit more referrals faster than ever. If you would like to learn more, drop us a line at hello(at)

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