*Ring Ring*

It’s the awkward phone call you’re about to have with the sole person who decides your worthiness for your dream job.

You’ve seemingly worked your entire life to get to this phone call.

You’re pleased to get the call, but not so pleased it’s happened while you’re commuting, and it’s loud, or even worse, it’s blatantly obvious from the background that you’re at a bar on a Tuesday night (we’ve all been there).

Let’s not beat around the bush. Applying for employment is cringeworthy for all parties involved*. It’s like an awkward first date with your entire future at stake.

*Note: I was tempted to say demoralising, but cringeworthy seems to do it the most justice.

There’s the cringeworthy recruitment video (trigger warning). Then you’ve got to weed the snakes out of the grass - ‘$200k+OTE’ sounds like a lot of money for an entry level ‘door to door’ role. What’s real and what’s not?

Fast forward to the awkward few minutes before your interview. Do you get there early to show you are eager, if early, how early? What if you get there too early and it’s awkward? Then who hasn’t walked away from an interview thinking, “I should have said” or “I shouldn’t have said”?

It’s pretty clear that at all costs you want to avoid traditional recruitment. The solution is filling the talent tanks so high you avoid a drought, and I believe existing staff are the key to doing this.

Slapping together some sort of referral bonus isn’t enough, although a financial incentive is good validation. You have to create a referral culture.

Here’s what I mean.

At Tanda we’ve hired roughly half the workforce from direct referrals. It’s always a good opportunity for both parties to better know the deal they’re going into and be more certain in their choice.

Our team works with the attitude that no location is too out there to find a potential hire.

Here are a few places our recent referral hires came from:

  • Two of our outstanding sales team members were found by sparking conversation at a local gym
  • One of our longest serving team members sold I.T. hardware to our founders in their early days
  • An (unnamed) highly educated and skilled member of the team was found at a Manila nightclub at 3am
  • One of our hires came to the office to sell us a sponsorship proposal and her proposal was so impressive we had to offer her a job
  • Me personally, I asked a stranger at the university bar if he wanted a game of pool in 2011, who later went on to create a company called Tanda

To avoid recruitment cringe at all costs you need to create a referral culture, the key to scouting talent is to look in places no one else does.