Nov 16, 2005

MIT prof analyzes employee referral

I got this by email from someone called Paul Denning, Director of Media Relations at MIT (weird, I don't even know someone at MIT!)

MIT Sloan Assistant Professor of Management Emilio J. Castilla, who specializes in strategic human resource management says:

" The challenge for managers is to use these programs to not only broaden the pool of job applicants, but to continue reaping benefits by keeping people recruited via referrals over time. "When you hire someone who is referred, you are bringing part of the worker's social network into your company," said Castilla. "Employers often forget that when a worker is hired using a referral program, that employee becomes linked and even dependent upon other workers in the organization." Well-managed referral programs can increase productivity and reduce turnover, he said. "When your best employees refer some of their friends, they in turn do some of the screening for you. But while these social connections help companies find applicants and provide difficult-to-obtain and more reliable information on them, what happens if the person doing the referring leaves?

According to our research, the new employee may leave or become less productive if the company does not work to retain the mentor and the other way around. This important social process is often overlooked by managers."

The answer to that question is what users of the Jobster, Linkedin and Doostang services would also have to answer. The research can be found here. Registration required.