Research: Black Employees Are More Likely to Be Promoted When They Were Referred by Another Employee

By Adina Sterling
Harvard Business Review

It has been estimated that more than three-quarters of all jobs are found through social networks. This is known as referral-based hiring. As referrals have grown in popularity, so has the debate about their impact.

On the positive side, referrals can result in improved job matches and reduced employee turnover. Hiring firms can get “inside” information about a candidate from their referring employee, while the referral itself serves as a vouching mechanism that signals a candidate’s competency or trustworthiness. Job seekers can discover intangible aspects about a job and organization from their inside contact, helping them better assess their overall fit at a company.