Many argue that social capital is increasingly more important than talent and technical aptitude. According to this Harvard Business Review study, more than 75% of all jobs are found through social networks. Many organizations are leveraging the social capital of existing employees to foster ‘referral based hiring’. However, as one participant in the Invisible Walls, Ceilings, and Floors Study aptly stated, “Organizations that aspire to employ a diverse workforce will need to engage communities of color in their decision-making processes as change agents in the absence of diversity within the current structures. Referral-based hiring doesn’t work when your workplace is predominately homogenous. You will continue to recycle the same ‘faces’ until you rethink access points to job postings within your organization and volunteer opportunities on your board”.
What challenges have you experienced or witnessed with referral-based hiring?