4 Reasons why referrals are the best way to recruit

Posted by Laura Janus on Jul 1, 2019 8:56:12 AM

For businesses today, referrals are one of the most effective models for finding great talent. It’s a competitive market out there, so finding the right talent quickly can be an important factor in reaching your commercial objectives and maximising your teams’ potential.  

Research shows that hiring individuals via a referral is cheaper, faster and usually results in better hires, thus reducing the turnover rate within businesses and creating a more engaged work force.

Ian Hillman worked in the recruitment industry for over 20 years. Frustrated by the lack of resources and inefficiencies within the industry he founded Onya, an online referral community – connecting good people to the right jobs. Hillman understands all too well the challenges and pressures businesses face when recruiting good talent.


“Each business is after the right person to get the job done. With some needing talent with highly specialised skills. Finding that person can be time consuming and expensive, but a bad hirer can cost even more,” says Hillman.


Launched in June 2017,  Onya is an online venue for working people to recommend their mates, colleagues and peers into jobs. Onya has removed the middle man and instead provides clients with a channel straight to the best source of information.

“What Onya does is crowd source the recruitment process,” says Hillman.  “It’s all about who you know. It’s the oldest form of marketing known to man. And it works. Word of mouth has been taking care of the recruitment process for years, as friends, work mates and their peers recommend each other into jobs. The end result is a faster, cheaper process that also finds the right person for you and the business,” says Hillman.


Without a doubt, hiring via referral is a lot quicker than hiring through job boards or a careers website. After all, there is no need for job description writing, going through hundreds of resumes, creating advertising posts or conducting candidate screenings.  In fact, all you really need is to interview the referred candidate.


According to a study by JobVite, applicants hired using a referral system commenced their new positions quicker that those found via job boards and career sites. Hirers by referral started after 29 days, 39 days for job board candidates and 55 days for those who applied via career websites.


“You also find referred candidates tend to accept offers more quickly than candidates who apply via other methods. This also helps to limit the time to fill positions and get the right people in quicker,” says Hillman.  


Employee referrals tend be of higher quality as the individuals referring them are already familiar with the business or specific requirements related to the job position. They may even be a specialist in the field themselves.

When recruiting for specific roles, many individuals only refer candidates if they think they are qualified for the role, as their nomination reflects on them personally and professional. With these types of recommendations, quality applicants not only cost less they also tend to accept offers faster and onboard more quickly when in the business.


Individual referrals and employee referral programs are very cost effective. No recruitment agency rates, job board chargers or advertising fees. On top of that your internal labour costs are kept to a minimum, with less time dedicated to scanning resumes and multiple interviews.

Even better, the fees are paid directly to employees at a considerably reduced cost in comparison to what you would pay a recruitment agency.

In the case of Onya, the hirer is charged only $50 to access Onya’s networks and at a later stage, is expected to reward the referring individual with a cash donation, voucher or charity donation if their recommended applicant is successful.

“Onya works by generating a sequence of alerts triggered as soon as the hirer registers the industry and location of the job they want to fill. Then our network of industry specialists and on-the-job helpers suggest anyone they know whose skills fit the job post. The service then relays the contact details for the suggested candidate back to the hirer, who completes the recruitment process internally,” explains Hillman.


According to JobVite, candidates who have been employed via a referral have greater job satisfaction and tend stay longer at companies.

There is also an inherent personal investment too, with successful candidates committed to their friend or contact who referred them and therefore is more engaged and invested in the work place.

Rewarding employees or contacts for recommendations, like what Onya does;  helps to grow a wider pool of potential candidates while also boosts morale in in the work place.

To refer a friend or find out more about Onya visit

Topics: Insider, jobhunting, jobsearch

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