All Articles Leadership Employee referrals aren't necessarily the best source for new hires

Employee referrals aren’t necessarily the best source for new hires

1 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Workforce — tracks feedback from leading managers and HR practitioners. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Are employee referrals your best source for hires?

  • Yes, for some positions, 51%
  • No, 22%
  • Yes, for most positions, 21%
  • We don’t track sources for hires, 6%

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Employee referrals has never been my best source of hire. It seems like every recruiting conference I ever went to was trying to tell me how we must boost employee referral rates because they give us the best source of candidates. I thought there was something wrong with me. It is nice to see that most, like myself, use employee referrals somewhat selectively. While referrals do make up a nice piece of the overall recruiting mix, I don’t know if it is worth investing significant resources in beefing it up.

Lance Haun is community director for, the main guy over at and a member of the SmartBrief on Workforce Advisory Board.