I recently discovered that more and more companies pay their employees significant sums just to get recommendations for potential candidates. It made me think about how job seekers can leverage this to get introduced to the hiring responsible for the job.
One of my major corporate clients in Switzerland is paying up to CHF 10’000.- to their employees, just for the recommendation of suitable candidates for job openings. This amount is per person and per position!
This makes it very appealing for people to recommend candidates for jobs and could even be a second income stream for some. For this reason it provides you with an amazing benefit if you decide to put in some extra work to get ahead of the crowd.
Note: If you are looking for an extensive list of Technology Companies in Switzerland, check out the 160+ Technology Companies in Switzerland That Hire English Speakers.
One of the easiest ways to getting introduced on LinkedIn, is using the job board because the owner of the position is visible to the public and you always know who is responsible for the role. In the case that the hiring manager or HR is directly responsible for the role, you can immediately see within the job advert who could possibly introduce you. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to grow your LinkedIn network as wide and tight as possible.
Imagine you see a job at IBM you want to apply for and find out that 3 people, who you know well at IBM, can introduce you. You get in contact with them and one decides to put in a good word for you and recommend you on LinkedIn for that role and also forward your application by email to the hiring manager. What do you think how much better your chances are to get that interview? I think much bigger than your competitors.
List companies you want to work for
To get the most out of leveraging these introductions, list every company you would like to work for. Follow them on LinkedIn! I would say a good average is 40-50 companies, depending on where you live and what area you are targeting.
Write down company names that hire English speakers.
Here is a list of 122 companies that hire English speakers in Switzerland.
Go search for job openings and build some of the company names based on them. Are they hiring people like you? Are they looking for your skill set?
Do the research
Before you list some random names, do the research. Go to the companies websites, study their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter page and see if they share your values. Does the companies’ culture fit yours?
For some companies this might not be applicable as they are not on these platforms. No problem, set up a Google Alert for all the company names and get daily updates about what is happening with these firms. Even more interesting, see what people are saying about them. Have you ever heard about search.twitter.com? This might be one of the most powerful research tools in the future. You can search for companies’ names and see what people are saying about them and what they are doing. Try it.
There is no excuse anymore for not doing the research, all the tools are there.
Connect with people on LinkedIn at your target companies
To makes sure you are able to get introduced by people on LinkedIn, you must have them in your network first. Search for suitable contacts on LinkedIn and add them. Who should you add? Well, everyone that works in your area of expertise within your target companies. You can also search for position titles, locations and many other parameters. A good way to add others is based on groups you share.
I highly suggest you also add junior people and mid level professionals because it is much easier for you to provide great value to them. You can then offer them advice, maybe even mentor them or help out with complex issues they are facing. Through this, you offer high value and earn trust and people will much more likely be open to first, introduce you to somebody, but even better, also recommend you because they actually know you and had conversations with you.
Build meaningful relationships
What do I mean by meaningful? Build relationships not just for the sake of getting introduced and recommended by others. If you do that, you have an intention when you contact them and people will realize quickly. Instead, focus on providing value. Don’t ask for anything before they said “Thank you” to you 3 times.
So how do you provide value?
As I mentioned before, connect with the juniors, interns, mid level professionals, etc. Because when you do, you can provide value through your knowledge and experience. Ask them if you can help them with an issue they are facing at the moment. Tell them that you love to help out by providing your experience and knowledge. This will do 3 things:
1. You provide REAL value instead of something imaginary
2. You get better at coaching, consulting and advising, which can be beneficial for your future career
3. You help juniors get better faster and might actually have a positive impact on their careers
Last but not least – Get introduced on LinkedIn
Once you got those 3 magic thank you’s, it’s your turn to ask for a favor. Tell them that you are delighted to help them and ask if they are aware of the referral program for external candidates for job openings in their company. If yes, great. If not, explain that most companies pay internal employees a fee for referring external candidates for job openings. Then ask if they could introduce and recommend you for a specific job.
Here is an example how this could look like:
I am delighted to help you as much as I can, I hope you get some great value from this.
Are you aware of your companies referral program in terms of hiring new employees? Many companies pay a grateful fee to their employees if they recommend a suitable candidate for a job opening and they actually hire them.
I saw that your Application Development department is looking for a new Java Developer and I believe I am a great fit for that role and also the company. Would you mind recommending me for this position through LinkedIn? Here is the link where you could do that: http://www.
You would make the whole process a lot easier for both, IBM and myself, by doing this.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
If you need more help with connecting with the right people, get in contact with me!