Just a small town start-up?

Some small companies and startups feel like they shouldn’t bother trying out a referral scheme because their pool of referrers (usually their team) is too small. This is a misconception.

It may be slightly more difficult working with a smaller team, but the benefits are exactly the same, You need great staff, whatever the size of your business, and at nudj we believe referrals are the best way to hire quality candidates.

The case for referrals is quite simple. Asking your employees for recommendations captures great candidates outside of the active hiring pool, one that is inaccessible to recruiters. Referral candidates are more likely to be hired, have higher retention rates and are likely a better fit for your business. All of this for a fraction of the price of a recruiter, while taking up less of your time, too.

Your employees are your best hiring tool.

Being a part of your team means employees understand your company and your vision, and can recommend the best people they know that are going to be a great fit. Candidates are therefore peer-vetted, giving you a better, more personal assessment of them than a CV could.

Also, people are more likely to look into a job lead from a friend than a recruiter because there’s a trust there. Their recommendation is coming from altruism, rather than to fill a seat in an office.

So referrals are great, but how can they be lucrative when you’re a team of 10, not 100?

Make referrals a team sport

No matter what the size, the most common killer of a referral scheme is lack of communication. Employee engagement is the key to the success of referrals, so encourage your team to regularly reach out to their contacts for recommendations. Making it a weekly target for each team member to ask 5 people about job openings each week will create a referral culture, generating more referrals and connecting you to a wider hiring pool.

If your team is making referrals regularly, this will generate a large number of leads, despite only coming from a small number of people.

Asking for external referrals

Getting referrals from people outside of your team is a great way to expand your referral network. This can however raise problems with paying out incentives, as it’s not ideal to be paying out to people you barely know. To counter this, try offering other equally useful but not monetary-based, rewards, such as the offer of feedback on something they’re working on or a “referral-in-kind”.

Alternatively, you could just use nudj, because we take care of all payments for you. You’ll only deal directly with us, so you can ask for referrals outside of your organisation, and we’ll handle all the invoices and communication for you.

Tapping into existing networks

Try to think where your ideal candidates are and make sure your company and your jobs are visible in those places. For example, if you're trying to hire a Growth Marketer, there are plenty of online communities where they "hang-out", such as GrowthHackers.com, inbound or any number of Growth Marketing meet ups that occur each month. So make sure your company and your jobs are visible to these communities, either by taking advantage of their message threads for jobs or just networking at the events.

With nudj, you have opportunity to connect with relevant people in our network. This enables you to connect with a wider group of people, all of whom we know are a good source of referrals, allowing you to connect with candidates with the right skills you're looking vetted by other people with those skills.

Interested? Request access to our beta here.

A start-up may have less team members to take part in a referral scheme, but with great employee engagement and expanding your network, you can access quality candidates, too. Start-ups also have the unique position of building a great team from the beginning, ensuring your team is a talented and diverse group. Referrals will help you to access great people, and build a great team to help your business grow.

It is often the team behind a small business that makes the difference between its success and failure. So if you want a great team, you should be hiring by referral.

Cover Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash.