Turbocharging Your Employee Referral Program with the Power of the LinkedIn Network

November 3, 2010

LinkedIn is focused on connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale. Today, we’re proud to announce the upcoming LinkedIn Referral Engine (coming in 2011), which will connect companies with the best talent resource they have—the thousands or millions of people their employees already know.

Employee referral programs are one of the most effective ways to hire and the leading candidate source by volume.  Referral hires typically perform better, stay in their positions longer, and even cost less to hire.

However, most referral programs aren’t as effective as they could be. To make a referral, an employee must:

  • Be aware of open jobs. Hiring needs constantly change, and some companies have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of open positions. How can an employee help fill a job she doesn’t even know is open?
  • Identify a good candidate. Most people think about only a fraction of their networks on a regular basis. How many talented professionals do employees overlook just because they aren’t top of mind?
  • Know how to act quickly. Many referral processes are confusing or communicated inconsistently over time. What if it only took 2 clicks to refer someone?

Referral Engine taps into the power of the world’s largest professional network to break down these barriers and help your employees deliver the very best talent they know. Referral Engine:

  • Recommends the best candidates for open jobs. Our powerful algorithm recommends the best candidates by looking at all your employees’ contacts through the lens of your open jobs. Employees then apply their own judgment to refer only the best of the best.
  • Simplifies the referral process. Recommendations are delivered right to your employees via email or the LinkedIn homepage, and they can contact a candidate or make a referral in just a few clicks.
  • Keeps referrals top-of-mind. Periodic reminders with specific suggestions make sure employees are thinking about referrals consistently. Since many of your employees are already networking on LinkedIn, Referral Engine allows you to tap into thousands or millions of their connections instantly.


LinkedIn is working in partnership with Accenture, a global thought leader in referral hiring, to pilot the product and ensure that we get the final details right. Sjoerd Gehring, Accenture’s global social media and employee referral lead, said, “It’s incredibly important that we get referral hiring right. LinkedIn Referral Engine is a huge piece of our strategy for increasing referrals at Accenture.”

Needless to say, we’re excited, and we look forward to sharing more about Referral Engine in the coming months!

Learn more about LinkedIn's Referral Engine.