One of the most sure bets on finding the perfect candidate to fill a role is via a referral. Rather than relying on you and the candidate finding each other, there’s a middleman who can bring the two sides together, confirming on both sides that this role is a great fit for the candidate, and vice versa.

But, just because referrals increase the likelihood of a candidate being a great fit, doesn’t mean it makes the job any easier.

As a recruiter, you may not have to do as much traditional sourcing when looking for referrals, but you still are sourcing in a sense because you have to find referrals who will provide you with candidates. The best way to do this? With a referral campaign.

Building Your Referral Campaign

Like any good recruiter, you should think of yourself as a marketer when it comes to building a referral campaign. After all, it doesn’t matter what the goal is—a campaign is a campaign.

Here are the steps you can take to make sure you’re casting as wide of a net over your network as possible to bring in as many referrals as you can:

1. Go Social

Creating the social arm of your referral campaign should start with a social schedule—we recommend Buffer. This will allow you to do all the work up front and give you more time to filter through your responses.

Twitter and LinkedIn are the two channels you absolutely want to hit—Twitter because of the audience reach and ability to incorporate hashtags, LinkedIn because of the professional networking aspect—but if your Facebook network has a large enough professional side to it, you’ll want to post there as well.

Due to Twitter’s constantly-updating feed, one tweet per day isn’t overkill; and two to three LinkedIn and Facebook posts a week would be appropriate. In each post you’ll want to provide:

–Clear indication that you are seeking referrals
–The title of the job you’re recruiting for
–How anyone with a referral should contact you

Once all your posts are scheduled out, it’s time to keep an eye on the engagements your social accounts receive in case anyone responds via comments or messaging, as well as moving on to the other two pieces of your referral campaign…

2. Tap Into Email

Email is an important piece of any campaign, and referral campaigns are no different. There are two different ways you can create the email arm of your referral campaign:

–Via an email marketing platform such as MailChimp
Pro: easy-to-use design tools
Con: have to pay after a certain number of addresses loaded in

–Directly from your email, using the BCC feature to load in contacts’ addresses
Pro: do it within your current email tool
Con: harder to incorporate creativity which could engage readers of the email for longer

Whichever path you choose to go, you should blast everyone in your professional network with the message that you’re seeking referrals. Because you have more space + a longer recipient attention span in an email message than a social message, you should include all of the items you did in your social messaging as well as:

–A link to the job posting
–Details about the role and company that may be pertinent in your contacts thinking of a referral
–A thank you in advance for any help they may offer (because courtesy goes a long way) 

3. Give the Personal Touch

Reaching out digitally is important, but going old school is just as important when going through a referral campaign.

Set aside time in your day to personally call members of your network. Casting a wide net is essential in the digital components of your referral campaign, but in this stage you’re going to want to save yourself some time by narrowing your call list down only to those in your network who are in the same industry as the role you’re trying to fill.

The conversation should start personal and move into introducing the reason for your call. Give an oral presentation of the same information you’ve presented in your email and social postings, and engage your contacts in a conversation about the position. At the end of the conversation, give them an easy way to pass candidates along to you.

Hitting your network in the above three ways will ensure you get as many referrals as you need for your search, which in turn will deliver the best candidates possible for submission. Happy hunting!

Kate Weimer

Kate Weimer is a Marketing Lead at Kinetix, specializing in social media recruitment marketing and account management. Using a combination of her background in social media and love for the written word, she’s shoving all buzzwords aside and making HR and recruitment marketing work in today's digital world. Want to hang? Hit her up on Twitter or LinkedIn , or contact her via email.