EmployTest Logo

Social media and internal referrals becoming more popular for hiring


Internal referrals can hold a significant amount of weight in the hiring process. However, HR managers still must ensure that candidates have the right set of hard skills for an open position.

With technology becoming more prevalent in the business world, hiring managers have more tools at their fingertips to help them find the right candidates for open positions. Once the application process has started though, it’s still essential for HR teams to bring on employees who have the right set of hard skills that can keep a company profitable.

One recently popularized way of finding talent is through internal referrals. The New York Times recently explored this process, finding that many organizations are becoming reliant on what current workers have to say. For example, officials at the consulting firm Deloitte told the news source that the company now gets 49 percent of its experienced hires from referrals, up from 43 percent two years ago.

Social media has also altered the hiring landscape, the news source explained. LinkedIn makes it easier for recruiting to take place, and hiring managers can search possible candidates by precise skill sets.

However, Judith Hellerstein, a professor of economics at the University of Maryland, told The Times that even with the rise of social media, skills can deteriorate over time and even friends might be hesitant to recommend one another the longer that people have been out of work.

“We’re in a period of historic displacement in the labor market,” Hellerstein said. “The long-term unemployed are a huge problem that we haven’t figured out. All this human capital is being wasted and their skills are atrophying.”

Even with strong referrals, pre-employment tests, like a Microsoft Office test, can ensure that candidates have a strong set of technical skills that can adapt along with changing technologies. That way, a business will make a true investment that will be profitable in the long-term.