Referral programs are a great tool for your hiring teams. By all means, encourage employees to refer potential candidates. But consider using blind employee referrals to make sure your hiring teams avoid inadvertent favoritism and keep your hiring process fair.
Use Blind Referrals for Inclusive
Employee referrals are a great way to show respect to your team and gratitude
to job seekers who want to work with you. But while well-intentioned, their very
nature makes them EXclusive rather than INclusive.
Basically, candidates have to know someone at
your company to get a referral.
Also, some candidates may know of the open position
before the hiring team publishes it. And some candidates
may inadvertently get preferential treatment from the hiring
Another issue with referrals is that
they can interfere with your
organization’s diversity, equity, and
Employees tend to refer people like
themselves, which can inadvertently
perpetuate whatever cultural and
racial makeup exists at the company.
Blind employee referrals run somewhat counter to common referral
practices, but they make the process fair for all candidates. Here’s a few of
the ways they’re unique:
1) Referring employees DON"T disclose
their connection to a candidate to anyone on
the hiring team. (Some applicant tracking
systems offer an option to hide the source of
a candidate from the hiring team.)
2) Referring employees DO tell the
candidate about the blind referral process
and ask that the candidate keep their
3) Employees on the hiring team recuse themselves from the
hiring process when they know a candidate.
4) If a candidate name-drops an
employee during the hiring process,
someone on the hiring team informs or
reminds them of the blind employee
5) Hiring teams evaluate all
applicants equally regardless of
how they came into the candidate
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