Make a Referral

Companies may be slowing or even stopping the flow of bonuses, according to Computerworld's annual salary survey -- but many are happy to award cash to employees who make successful referrals of job candidates. In fact, many sources contend that these rewards cost less than recruiting and attracting new workers.

Although some referral bonuses are in the low hundreds of dollars, other companies hand out more than $1,000. In addition, some companies enter referring employees into raffles and lotteries that promise goodies such as home entertainment systems, cars and trips overseas. Others double their bonus offers for hard-to-fill technical positions.

At Intronic Solutions Group LLC, Managing Director Grant Gordon encourages the consultants he places to make referrals to his Overland Park, Kan.-based staffing firm. In the current economic climate, clients want workers who "can walk in and work," he says. In the near term, "referrals will be our bread and butter, since companies don't have the budgets or time for training," Gordon says. Intronic offers $500 to $1,000 for successful referrals.

But don't regard referrals as a way to make quick cash, warns Chad Fowler, author of My Job Went to India (And All I Got Was This Lousy Book): 52 Ways to Save Your Job (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2005). Referring mediocre people is a sure way to make yourself look less valuable, he says, adding "I wouldn't look there for money unless I had someone in mind already."

This version of this article originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

Next: 9. Get a brand-new job at a different company.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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