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How you can earn thousands of dollars just by helping companies

Hot cash is up for grabs. Here’s what you need to do to earn it.

Australians can earn thousands of dollars simply by recommending workers to companies who are desperate for talent.

Referral bonuses have long been used to incentivise existing staff to refer a new hire but now anyone is being offered cash to recommend talent to a company if the referred person is successfully hired.

Construction company Estimate One started its external referral bonus scheme last month and, within the first week alone, had received 20 referrals.

For every successful hire, referees will immediately receive $3000 – unlike other companies that have introduced similar schemes but require a worker to be employed for a minimum period before payment is made.

“If they’re good enough to hire, they are good enough to pay (out the referral bonus immediately),” Estimate One chief people and culture officer Marcus Waterreus says.

Cost-effective strategy

Waterreus says while there were initial concerns the scheme may have been abused, those fears have not been realized and, in any case, would still be a significant cost saving on engaging a professional recruitment company.

“When you look at hiring an engineer, it can (cost) $20,000 to $30,000 (to go through a professional recruiter),” he says.

“For $3000 (per referral), we would need (to hire) 10 (unsuitable candidates) before we were concerned (the scheme was not cost effective).”

quality candidates

Software company Metigy also rolled out an external referral bonus program recently, offering $1000 to those who refer a successful hire.

The money will be paid after the referred candidate has worked for the Sydney start-up for one month.

Metigy chief of staff Myra Beal hopes the program will attract more experienced professionals than would otherwise apply for advertised positions.

“I anticipate it will provide that middle level (of talent),” Beal says.

“It won’t be as high (as candidates sourced through) employee referrals – (external referrals) aren’t (made by) our employees so they don’t have skin in the game.

“But because someone has vouched for them … (externally referred hires) do tend to be a higher-quality candidate (than those who apply to job ads).”

Exercise caution

Adecco Australia managing director Kevin Alexander warns against making referrals for money alone and says referees must have a strong conviction the candidate will be suited to the role.

“Reputation is definitely an important consideration and it’s more about understanding that your referral reflects on your reputation within your peer group and how you support them,” he says.

“The (cash) reward shouldn’t be the main goal.

“For the person doing the referring, it is important to not look at it as an opportunity to earn money or a referral reward but rather helping your contacts into new opportunities, with the referring reward just a bonus to that.”

Helping good people find the right job

When talent is scarce it’s important not to let good workers go unnoticed, says Openpay head of people and culture Monique Rajch.

Rajch is responsible for recruitment at the Australian fintech, and when a promising candidate did not quite fit a recent job opening, she had no hesitation referring them to a former colleague at EstimateOne, which has recently introduced an external referral bonus scheme.

“The candidate was a bit too senior (experienced) for what we were looking for at the time,” Rajch says.

“He was a senior-level engineer and we were looking for someone in the mid-level.

“But when you’ve got a really good candidate you want to make sure they land somewhere really good.

“So when I let them know they were unsuccessful in our role, I asked if they would be happy if I sent their details across to EstimateOne.”

While Rajch would not refer to a candidate to a direct competitor, she says helping jobseekers find new roles is extremely rewarding even when there is no obvious benefit to her own company.

“In talent acquisition, people want to help people – that’s the whole crux of it – and you want to get the right fit for both the talent and the company,” she says.

“It (referring candidates elsewhere) is a nice thing to do and it builds your network. It also builds trust that people (recruiters at other companies) will look out for you when you need (extra workers).”

Originally published as Companies get creative to attract top talent. Here’s how you can help – and earn cash for it


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