Very often, if you receive a call from a recruiter about a job opportunity and you let them know it’s not for you, their immediate follow-up question will be to ask if you know anybody who might be a good fit. Do you put much thought into your response, or is your immediate reaction to turn them down and hang-up?
Referring talented people in your network is only be a good thing. Afterall, networking and word-of-mouth reputation is one of the primary ways the industry builds itself and perhaps the best tool you have to build a solid pipeline of job opportunities. There have been many times in my career where a referral from myself turned into a business opportunity for others just based on good networking and positive references. Here are three of the benefits you can get just by passing on a talented person’s contact information:
It Demonstrates and Builds Your Knowledge
Being able to guide a recruiter towards talented individuals displays to them that you not only know your own job, but you truly understand differing positions and roles in the IT space. As an added bonus, you gain more knowledge about what is being sought out in your industry. These discussions with recruiters let you ask questions and dig deeper into types of clients and projects. Maybe after a couple calls along these lines, you’ll pick up on a skill that is becoming ever hotter on the market. Calls like this lead to more positives in your knowledge of which clients are hiring and what skills and positions they are hiring for.
It Builds Your Network with Recruiters
It’s how our industry thrives! When you provide a reference, you’ll be helping somebody in your professional network AND making a strong connection with a recruiter. When that recruiter calls your talented referral and sees that they’re the real deal, they will pick up that you know what you are talking about and trust will continue to build. Now they will quickly come back to you when a role that better fits your skill set comes across their desk. They will also mention to their colleagues that you’re a smart person on the market, so your name gets out there even more. As an IT contractor, networking is invaluable.
It Expands Your Professional Reputation
When you’re regularly helping your talented colleagues land new gigs, you build up your professional network with confident, intelligent and hard workers in your industry. In the future, if you want to lead projects on a management or architectural/developer side, it will be good to know of people that can do a wide range of skills in all roles of your industry. Having them in your network as an acquaintance or colleague is great, but if you’ve also helped them land a job in the past because you referred them to a recruiter, it bolsters your reputation as an individual who respects competent work.
When a recruiter calls, if you’re able to give something to them while they are trying to give something to you, your relationship will skyrocket and you’ll reap the rewards. More importantly, when you make it a habit, your own knowledge, network and reputation improve exponentially, and as a result, more doors will open.