Referring a friend to your company is an easy way to earn some extra money, but it requires keeping track of current job openings — and who all your former colleagues are.
The career site Ladders has a solution: automating the referral process so that a website can tell you who in your network would be a good fit for all the jobs your company has open. That way, you don’t have to pay too much attention to what your company needs or troll LinkedIn looking for someone who might be a good fit.
“Referrals are great hires for companies to make. They’re great for the employee and for the friend or former coworker or colleague involved,” Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella said. “That’s why we built the product — for people who felt like they were missing out on the chance to get a friend a job.”
The project is one of the few tools out there offering career advice that doesn’t require changing jobs.
“Getting ahead in your career isn’t just about changing jobs,” Cenedella said. “It’s also about, ‘How can I maximize my impact at my present employer?'”
Ladders found that 70 percent of employers said that referred hires fit their company cultures better than external hires, and that 40 percent of all employee referrals end up getting hired.
But relying too much on referrals can perpetuate a lack of diversity at companies, since the candidates employees refer are likely to reflect their own backgrounds.
“You need to do both,” Cenedella said. “It is helpful to have people currently at a company who understand what the culture and operations demand — it’s helpful for them to be your eyes and ears scouting out new folks to hire. It’s also helpful for you to work beyond people in your company and networks they currently have to find candidates. Both are important.”
Ladders is a membership-only site, so you have to sign up before you can figure out what referrals could earn you a bonus. The program maxes out at $10,000 in bonuses per member. Companies including American Express, Bank of America, The New York Times, Target and Verizon all have their job listings linked to the site.