LinkedIn has completely changed hiring. There is no denying that. However, Maury Hanigan, founder and CEO of Match-Click, asserted that LinkedIn has negatively impacted recruitment in an article for Entrepreneur in February. Her argument is that hiring used to be about headhunting and pairing employees with businesses that would make a good fit with respect to salary expectations, "deal breakers" and personal goals. But nowadays, with LinkedIn, headhunters don't matter, and instead, hiring managers and other human resources representatives must find potential employees themselves.
"LinkedIn's Referrals essentially turns the whole social network into a headhunter."
Recommending talent just got easier
Well, LinkedIn is solving this problem with a new tool called Referrals, as it essentially turns the whole social network into a headhunter. According to Forbes, Referrals allow LinkedIn users to recommended their first-degree connections to companies looking for job candidates. In fact, the tool actually informs those users when there is a position open at an organization that their first-degree connection would be a great match for – every two weeks an email notifies LinkedIn members, the source reported. Even better, the first-degree connection doesn't even have to know about the job opening to be referred, and their colleagues can send them a message to share the role's description.
LinkedIn Referrals will only cost between $10 and $12 per year per employee, so it is likely that many businesses will incur the fee if it makes finding good tech talent easier. And if that isn't reason enough to check out the new service, HR teams can integrate Referrals with application tracking software, according to Forbes. This means that tracking and accounting for Referrals won't add any extra weight to hiring processes, but rather makes the whole task simpler.
Why referrals in the first place?
Referrals have long been a part of hiring, and in the tech sector, this is particularly true, as professionals leave one job for another with their best co-workers in tow. Hiring managers trust the opinion of people they hire, especially when those employees turn out to be hard-working individuals.
Many experts even recommend seeking out referrals before settling on a job candidate. Clay Johnson, global chief information officer of power and water at GE, told CIO magazine that before he took his current job at GE, the previous CIO not only called Johnson's resume-listed references, but the professional also reached out to past co-workers and colleagues of Johnson. Now, Johnson does the same to the tech pros that he hires.
"It's key to get the right person and sometimes by talking to someone that you know well you're going to get a lot more of the story about how they work, how they interact with people and a lot of other things," Johnson explained to the source.
Additionally, referrals have numerous benefits in regard to tech hiring. According to Eduardo Vivas' blog post on the LinkedIn Talent Blog, approximately 80 percent of recruiters agree that employee referrals are the "best" way to find and onboard "quality" candidates. Vivas explained that those who are referred are onboarded more quickly, they stay at their jobs longer and they typically fit in perfectly with respect to corporate culture.
In her Entrepreneur article, Hanigan closed by arguing that LinkedIn takes the personality and human connection aspect of hiring out of the recruitment picture, and onboarding must return to a time when hiring managers wanted candidates that were thoughtfully chosen for roles. LinkedIn Referrals makes that possible. By turning to current employees and colleagues for hiring recommendations, HR teams are getting personally selected people for their open roles.
Of course, hiring managers don't even need to use the Referrals tool itself to practice new recruitment techniques and reach out to potential candidates' former co-workers on LinkedIn. But whatever makes it easier, right?