3 Drawbacks of Employee Referrals You Need to Consider When Hiring

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3 Drawbacks of Employee Referrals You Need to Consider When Hiring
3 Drawbacks of Employee Referrals You Need to Consider When Hiring

It is no secret that referral marketing is one of the best ways to hire top-notch talent from your current employees. It’s a way of getting employees to help fill up open positions by referring someone they know who is qualified enough for the job. Employee referrals have become a very popular hiring strategy that many companies have created entire programs encouraging existing employees to submit referrals in exchange for incentives.

But while there are several advantages to hiring through referrals, it is not without its share of drawbacks. In this post, we look at 3 disadvantages of employee referral programs you should watch out for.


  1. Creation of Cliques

When you hire several employees through reference, you run the risk of alienating other workers because of the likelihood that your new employees will only hang out with the people they know. It’s a dimension of referrals that many HR managers don’t often consider, which can have a negative impact on the synergy within different teams and overall work culture.


  1. Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a hot area of recruitment that more companies are beginning to appreciate. Employee referrals, however, often get in the way of hiring diversity. If your existing employees are made up primarily of a certain demographic, there’s a good chance most of their professional network is made up of the same demographic. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you’re not exactly meeting your goal of having a diverse talent pool.

Likewise, if your existing employees specialize in one specific skillset, like graphic design, they will likely have a network of graphic designers as well. But what if you want to hire Java developers? This limits your ability to hire the best talent through referrals.


  1. Less Stringent Screening and Interview Process

In an ideal world, all candidates would go through the same exact rigorous screening and interview process. But in the real world, it’s just too difficult to make this happen. This is especially true when handling employee referrals—it’s easy to slack off because you know this person was referred by so-and-so, and so-and-so is an upstanding member of the team.

This bias tends to make hiring managers take it easy during the screening and interview process, which can cause problems down the line.

If you want to make the most out of your employee referral program, be sure to consider the strengths and weaknesses of referrals. If you need to bolster your referral program with other recruitment strategies, talk to the staffing specialists of Top Notch Personnel. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions!


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