Referrals are Your Hire Power for Finding Diversity Candidates

For years, recruiters have had issues with finding the right candidates for their open positions. In a recent CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers, “70% say the reason it is harder is due to the difficulty in finding qualified applicants.” With a growing number of unsatisfied recruiters, we are starting to see a shift in recruitment sources. While job boards provided great value in the past for HR’s hiring needs, we are increasingly seeing this source take a backseat to a more preferred method: referrals.

Referrals are consistently taking home the gold in categories of hiring quality, job retention, percentage of hires, etc. And if you think about it, it makes sense! A referral is coming from an actual person, often an employee or recruiter, who is digging deeper than the resume surface to determine whether there is a potential match for an open position. Not only do referrals provide resume matching, but help with finding the very critical right “fit” in the workplace. With more and more organizations warming up to the idea of organizational fit when identifying potential candidates, a well-designed referral program can identify personal characteristics to target the right skills and fit for an organization. With the ability to effectively match job qualifications and organizational fit, referrals are number one in applicant-to-hire-ratio, resulting in “1 out of 3 applicants” hired (ERE Media).

Originally, before referrals became a pillar of Sourcing 101, many employers thought this type of program would hinder diversity. In fact, data now shows that referrals are the “most productive source for diversity hires” (ERE Media). In other data generated by ERE Media, even retention rates are higher for diversity candidates when using referral programs versus traditional hiring sources. However, to reap the benefit of referrals, you have to employ the right referral program.

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Candidate Behavior 2015 Hiring Managers. N.p.: CareerBuilder, 2015. PDF.

Sullivan, John. "10 Compelling Numbers That Reveal The Power Of Employee Referrals." Web log post. ERE Recruiting Intelligence. ERE Media, 7 May 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.