You want your friend to work with you. You want your referral bonus. You want your friend to make money. How do you do everything you possibly can to get your friend hired? Read on :)

Here are all the ways that my friend hustled to get me hired as his referral, as well as the ways I hustle to get my referrals through the hiring process. Pick and choose which techniques you want to use. I’ve marked the most important ones with a star 💫.

Ways to Help Your Referral from Start to Finish

  • Ask them what they are looking for so you can route them towards work they actually want to do
  • Have a 15-60 minute conversation with them where you answer all their tough, deep questions and also share the answers to all the tough questions you want to know while evaluating a company. Give them all the insider information they need to decide they want to work at your company.
  • 💫 Look for positions in your company which match what they want, and introduce your friend to the hiring managers for those positions
  • This is also a good time to put your referral into Lever or your official referral system so you can get credit
  • How to find the hiring managers? 1) ask people on the relevant teams about who the hiring managers are 2) face to face, ask a recruiter friend who the hiring managers are
  • What if you don’t see any open positions for what your friend wants to do? Don’t give up. Find and introduce your friend to the hiring managers anyway, because everyone is always hiring, or they may not have published the job descriptions yet, or the headcount might be opening up next week.
  • How do you introduce your friend to the hiring manager? Ask the hiring manager if they want an intro; if you can’t find them in person, send an email like this:

    Subject: Want intro? Growth Engineer Candidate
    Hey $firstname, 
    Want an intro to $friendname who wants to do growth engineering for us?
    Just reply yes or no, and it’s okay to say no.
    Thanks in advance,
  • When the hiring manager says yes, introduce them:

    $friendname <> $hiringmanagername re Growth Engineering @ Credit Karma
    $friendname meet $hiringmanager name.
    $hiringmanagername meet $friendname.
    $friendname wants to do growth engineering with us. 
    They are impressive in these ways. 
    $hiringmanager name is in charge of $listOfAreas. 
    They are impressive in these ways. $linkToLinkedIn
    You would both benefit from speaking.
  • Now follow up every two days and cc both of them and ask "How's this going?"
  • If the recruiter is involved, whenever you ping them, ask “hey $person, any updates?”, and send the email to everyone, with the main person you want movement from in the TO field, and use their name. Everyone else gets Cc’d.
  • You might be a thinking, “that’s fucking annoying! I don’t want to spam people like that!” You’re thinking about this all wrong. If your company makes the hire, that means your friend will make the company 3x to 10x to 20x to 100x what they are paid. You are doing the company a big favor by referring your friend, and this is why you get a referral bonus. You are also doing your friend a favor because hopefully your company actually pays people. If not, leave ASAP. The hiring manager should and WILL thank you for following up and keeping everyone updated and on task.

Now that the process is thoroughly kicked off, keep pushing it along and updating your referral on what you learn. When they progress to each consecutive round, give them whatever tips you might have, or consider talking to someone on their future team and ask about what they are looking for in interviews so you can relay any tips without giving away key information.

When your friend gets an offer, talk over their offer with them and any other offers they have and actually help them decide between them. Even if they have another better offer, San Francisco is small and you will probably run into them and you want to give them good advice.

What to Tell Your Referral

  • Keep them maximally updated on everything you are doing for them. If you’re still searching for hiring managers, let them know you haven’t forgotten about them.
  • 💫 Ask your friend to ping you if 1) you haven’t updated them in 2 days, or, 2) the other people in the company haven’t gotten back to them in 2 days. If you really wanted to hustle and be quick, you could do 1 day. Make sure your referral has your number so they can text or call you, which is way easier and better than having them email you.

For Quicker Turnaround…

  • 💫 Always always always, even if you feel it may be a bit inconsiderate, visit the desk of the recruiter or hiring manager to talk with them. You will get better, faster, more thorough answers to your questions. And they will thank you for it, because this is how they operate (unlike us engineers, they don’t mind interruptions).

That’s all I’ve got for you—go forth, get your referrals hired, and go for expensive dinners with your new referral cash!

David Trejo