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The Referral Phenomenon- How to Leverage your Network in 2024


From a talent acquisition perspective, the influx of referrals we have received in the last 6 months has been staggering- which has led to us dubbing it as the referral phenomenon.

This has prompted us to share more! Irina Wenderoth and Katie Burwell have collaborated to share their experiences and how you can leverage your network! Let us dive in.



Current State of Market 

Despite a wave of headlines covering layoffs, primarily at tech companies, the U.S. labor market remains tight and hiring remains difficult. Layoffs are actually at a relatively low rate by historical standards, largely because of Covid deaths and the effects of long Covid. As long as workers remain scarce, it will remain a workers’ market and recruitment will be a challenge. However, it’s essential to note that the tech industry has experienced significant job cuts. In 2022, approximately 140,000 tech jobs were eliminated, and this trend appears to continue into 2023, with over 94,000 tech jobs already lost. Even though the market is on the path to rebalancing, it remains tight. You will notice some lingering challenges going into 2024. This is where referrals come into play and why you should leverage your network! 


Importance of Referrals  

Referrals play a pivotal role in business growth and success.  

Word of Mouth Power: Referrals are essentially word-of-mouth recommendations. When someone you trust vouches for a product or service, it carries immense weight. People tend to believe their friends, family, or colleagues more than traditional advertisements. 

Cost-Effective: Referral programs are cost-effective compared to other advertising methods. Instead of spending large sums on ads, you tap into your existing customer base to spread the word. This generates warm leads—potential customers who are more likely to convert. 

Trust and Credibility: Recommendations come from a place of trust. When a close friend or family member refers to a product, it instantly gains credibility. Trust is a powerful motivator for making purchasing decisions. 

Quality Leads: Referrals often result in high-quality leads. These leads are more likely to convert because they come from someone who has firsthand experience with the product or service. 

Relationship Building: Referral marketing allows you to leverage your existing customers to build relationships with new ones. By tapping into their networks, you can quickly reach potential prospects who are eager to learn about your business. 

In summary, referrals are like gold—valuable, cost-effective, and capable of unlocking doors to new opportunities. Encouraging existing users to make personal referrals can significantly boost your brand’s reach and impact. 

Keeping On Top Of Things

Leverage your Network!  

So how do you set yourself apart these days? Especially when there are many applicants. You should leverage your network/connections. Find a mutual connection or reach out to someone in talent acquisition directly.  

Quality Over Quantity: Rather than aiming for a high number of connections, focus on building meaningful relationships. Each connection should bring value to your network. 

Personalization: Avoid generic messages when connecting with others. Craft personalized invitations that stand out and open the door for meaningful interactions. 

Know Your Audience: Tailor your content and engagement to your target audience. Consider their interests and needs when sharing information or interacting on LinkedIn. 

Active Engagement: Connecting is just the beginning. Consistently engage with your network by commenting, sharing, and participating in discussions. This keeps your network vibrant and can turn followers into valuable allies. 

Professional Branding: Treat LinkedIn as your professional storefront. Share relevant content, showcase your expertise, and maintain a polished profile.

We are connected- Now What? Referrals 4

Building and maintaining connections is essential for long-term success.  

Here are some strategies to stay relevant and nurture your network: 

Consistent Engagement: Don’t let the connection fade away after the initial connection request. Regularly engage with your network by liking, commenting, and sharing their content. Show genuine interest in their updates and celebrate their achievements. Remember, relationships need nurturing to thrive. 

Share Valuable Content: Share relevant and valuable content with your network. This could be industry news, thought-provoking articles, or insights from your own experiences. By providing value, you position yourself as a resource and keep your connections engaged. 

Personalized Messages: When reaching out to your network, avoid generic messages. Instead, personalize your interactions. Mention specific details from your previous conversations or highlight common interests. People appreciate authenticity and personalized communication. 

Stay Informed: Continuously educate yourself about industry trends, emerging technologies, and market shifts. Being well-informed allows you to contribute meaningfully to discussions and share valuable insights with your network. 

Attend Events: Attend conferences, webinars, and networking events. These gatherings provide opportunities to meet new people and strengthen existing connections. Even if someone can’t directly help you today, they might be a valuable resource in the future. 

Be Generous: Offer help and support without expecting immediate returns. If you come across an opportunity that aligns with someone in your network, share it with them. Generosity fosters goodwill and strengthens relationships. 

Follow Up: After meeting someone at an event or connecting online, follow up promptly. Send a thank-you message, share a relevant article, or propose a coffee chat. Consistent follow-up shows that you value the connection. 


Overall, we within Talent Aquisition are so very grateful for referrals and are always looking for ways to expand our network and make new connections. If you have read this far and found this of value, please connect with us!

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Katie Burwell, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist

Katie Burwell is an experienced technical recruiter passionate about building relationships and creating brand awareness. Understanding the importance of sharing content and being a thought leader helps build trust in the communities she serves. She is a Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist for several local business units, including Dallas, Houston, and Ohio, and national business units, Commerce and Oracle. While she may support those business units, she is also willing to help in whatever capacity she can! Katie often gives back to her community and is an avid Down Syndrome advocate.

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