Leveraging your professional network to aid in your recruiting efforts at your company is an effective way of sourcing job candidates. You can generally trust those in your network to make quality referrals, since it would reflect poorly on them to recommend someone who was unqualified or otherwise unsuitable for the job.

Employee recruitment strategy

First, make your needs widely known. Tell members of your professional network that you seek to fill a position at your firm.

Be clear about the job title and provide a brief list of the skills and qualifications required. Email and connect to those in your network through LinkedIn, Orkut and other online communities

But don’t neglect the importance of person-to-person conversations with those who are the real“connectors” in your network. Buy them coffee, take them to lunch, and talk to them about your company and the kind of people you would like to hire. Not only will the“connectors” in your network be able to refer candidates to you directly, they might also know whom you should contact in order to widen your net. For example, they might be able to recommend an appropriate search firm, or they may socialize with another company’s head of HR, who would be happy to refer appropriate potential employees.

Doing the rounds within your professional network gives you an excuse to talk about your company and what you are up to, as well as a chance to reconnect with those who may not have heard from you in a while.

Employee recruiting through those you know is often faster than and generally yields better quality candidates than using an ad or online job board.

Because your professional network is such a valuable resource for your recruiting efforts, invest the time to keep the connections alive, and to expand them. While breakfast networking events and evening meet-and-greets can sometimes prove difficult to fit into a busy schedule, they can save you a great deal of effort when it comes time to hire a director of business development, or a software architect versed in specialized programs.