Referral.Works is changing the recruitment industry

Referral.Works, founded by Kieran Desmond, helps companies to employ the best candidates for vacant roles through a unique referral process.

How did you come up with the idea for Referral.Works?

Referral.Works as a concept came from my life experience. I met a friend who told me about troubles in his life. He was broke, stuck at home and he needed a job. He had just completed a QFA Masters Qualification. I was referred internally for a job that was not listed, fortunately or unfortunately, I was unable to take the contract as I was working with other clients. This is when I had a lightbulb moment. “Christian! I have just the job for you. Would you like me to refer you?” I went on to play matchmaker between Christian (the jobseeker) and the employer. Christian was then hired and I had agreed a small fee for the referral. It’s through this process of going back and forth that I sought a way of referring people in a similar way.

“If you refer for five jobs over a year, you could earn an average of €3,200 for no more than two and a half hours of work.”

How does the business work?

Referral.Works supercharges recruitment by suggesting, matching and assessing referred people to relevant jobs. We do this in a rewarding, transparent and easy way. A recruiter can publish a job, with a referral rewards pool in minutes and receive quality candidates from around the world. Referrers can login with their LinkedIn profile and refer people they know for jobs in companies they know and trust. Candidates, who are invited to be referred, get a warm introduction to relevant jobs in companies that are a better fit to their cultural and team norms. We are like a super-charger that works with engines like LinkedIn and soon StackOverflow and Github.

For referrers, all you need is a professional network and a LinkedIn account to start. If you refer for five jobs over a year, you could earn an average of €3,200 for no more than two and a half hours work – earning an hourly rate of over €1,280 an hour. Unlike any other platform, you can earn throughout the recruitment process, from first interview to hiring.

Can you guarantee the best referrals?

Referral.Works is unique in the way that it sources, matches and assesses its referrals. We often get questions about validating referrals – part of this job is for the referrer. Referrers stand as a gatekeeper for the employer, quality checking the information that job candidates put forward. We have a strict ‘three strikes’ policy and employers can see the performance and history of a referrer.

This all helps ensure the quality and accuracy of referrals. We then match between the job specification and the referral by items like skills, experience and languages to give a quality candidate profile rather than a CV. This makes the job of finding talent far easier for the recruiter as much of the filtering is already done. We want to give recruiters and employers a handful of quality candidates, rather than hundreds of CVs – many of which are irrelevant and poorly matched to the job.

You can also save firms a lot of money on recruitment fees. How so?

There are many costs associated with recruitment, both direct and indirect. Direct costs are like traditional methods such as job boards and agencies. We want to reduce the time spent by all recruiters, be it an internal HR team or a recruitment agency. This in turn can give savings on fees and man hours of up to 53% or €6,750 on a €45,000 hire (on average).

Then you have indirect costs, these are more difficult to measure. When you get 100-200 CVs through different means, it costs a lot of time. Imagine having only 10-15 high quality, screened candidates that you can work from instead, thus reducing the time spent on irrelevant and poorly fitting candidates. We have a suite of patent pending technology that works with our data driven referrals to score candidates by metrics.

“There are over 7.1 million open jobs in the US and the EU at present. There’s huge potential for innovation and disruption in the recruitment space.”

You have been on startup programmes in the past including UCC Ignite and New Frontiers, what were those experiences like and how did they benefit the company?

We were in Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme in CIT which we completed in March of this year. It’s a great place to plan and develop your businesses commercial plans. Many of the workshops are quite useful, it’s never easy to cater to a diverse group of companies like was done. In the end, we all found it to be a great experience.

Today we work in Teamwork Catalyst in Cork, a SaaS incubator run by The workspace, support and community in Catalyst is fantastic. They take no equity nor do they charge any kind of fees. It’s a great and generous addition to Cork. Special thanks to Peter Coppinger, Dan Mackey and the team.

refferal works recruitment

You are having a launch event in September 2017, care to discuss this and what will be happening?

We will launch our platform (beta) on September 7. The event will be in the Bank of Ireland Workbench in Cork. We will be discussing why and how businesses can best recruit using referrals, and we’ll give a live demonstration. We will have interactive sessions and a referral competition on the night. We welcome professionals who want to refer and earn, businesses that want to get the most out of recruitment, as well as recruiters searching for the best talent in less time and cost.

Looking towards the future, what’s next for you?

Our goal is to make the recruitment process rewarding, transparent and easy for everyone. In the coming months, we will be working with an exciting and growing group of companies in Cork and Dublin. We are looking forward to working with our customers to refine and further develop our innovative and ground-breaking recruitment solutions.

We have had some inquiries and interest from the investment community in recent times. We welcome inquiries, as we are looking to move fast and scale our team to meet growing demand.

For us, this is just the beginning. Our focus is to become a global platform operating in markets including the UK, EU and the US. There are over 7.1 million open jobs in the US and the EU at present. There’s huge potential for innovation and disruption in the recruitment space. Our goal is to be a core player and a driver of positive change in recruitment.

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