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One of the many valuable things I learned at the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Baltimore last April was that the candidate recruitment system is broken. This wasn’t really news to those of us who work with job-seeking clients, the real news was that this is no longer an industry secret. Experts who track labor and hiring trends— and hiring authorities—agree.

When recruiters post jobs online, they expect that 100 candidates will apply for each posting. Many of those who apply online won’t be qualified and, of those who are, 5 will be selected for interviews. Of those 5, there will be 2 or 3 that have been referred by someone already inside the organization. And those lucky candidates are pre-selected for interviews. So, out of the 5 originally mentioned, only 2 or 3 of those without “champions” inside the organization will receive interviews.

When a current employee who is well thought of refers a friend or acquaintance, hiring managers (and recruiters) are more likely to extend offers to them because: 1) someone is willing to risk their career to make a hiring recommendation and 2) such candidates have higher retention rates than anonymous recruits and therefore represent lower risk.

Now here’s the real shocker: if you are referred by a current employee, you will have a 14 times greater chance of being hired than someone who has not been referred. That’s not 14%, folks, that’s 1400%!

So what does that mean for you? That means that you must find a way to establish a foothold in the company you want to work for, but that’s another blog item . . . coming soon.

Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC