LinkedIn helps applicants get an employee referral

LinkedIn helps applicants get an in-house reference

For a job seeker, having an employee referral from someone already working at a company is always a valuable leg up. But that’s a 2-way street.

Employers’ talent acquisition efforts also benefit when a trusted employee can vouch for an applicant’s skills. Or highlight desired skills where a potential hire may be lacking.

Professional networking site LinkedIn’s new “Ask for a Referral” feature is aimed at simplifying the process of identifying people in an applicant’s network already working where they’d like to apply for a job.

Adding contacts to narrow searches

A new filter on the site lets applicants identify companies where a LinkedIn contact works, joining other filters like location, industry and salary range job seekers can use to narrow their searches.

The company points to research that shows applicants are four times as likely to hear back from a potential employer if their application includes an internal reference.

According to LinkedIn, the new feature allows applicants to:

  • See jobs available at organizations where the applicant already knows someone by using the “In Your Network” search filter on LinkedIn Jobs.
  • Request a referral by clicking the “Ask For A Referral” button on job listings for organizations where the applicant already knows someone
  • Get suggestions on how to craft a referral request and otherwise put their best foot forward.

Skills testing

Another feature of the roadmap for LinkedIn Jobs will give employers a way to gauge applicants’ skills before the first interview.

The company says it will soon offer applicants the ability to take a skill assessment test as part of the application process on LinkedIn Jobs.

That will allow job seekers to demonstrate they have the desired skill set for a particular job posting.

LinkedIn hasn’t yet said what categories of skills it will test for or whether employers will be able to customize skills assessments for specific postings.

Tim McElgunn
Tim, a member of the HRMorning staff, is a veteran writer and editor. His background includes producing and managing publications for Bloomberg, Frost & Sullivan, Gartner Group and McGraw-Hill. Email: