Top 20 U.S. Companies Hiring From Referrals In 2024, From Research

The hidden job market refers to employment opportunities that are not advertised publicly through common channels like job boards, recruitment agencies, or company websites. Instead, these opportunities are typically shared within personal and professional networks.

#### Importance of Employee Referrals

According to a survey by Aptitude Research in 2022, 82% of U.S. employers leverage employee referrals to source and shortlist candidates. This method is widely favored due to its cost-efficiency and effectiveness in attracting suitable candidates who align with the company culture and values.

#### Challenges with Employee Referral Programs

Despite their prevalence, many employee referral programs face challenges that hinder their success:

- **Lack of Awareness:** Often, employees are not fully aware of how these programs work or of their role in the referral process.

- **Complex User Experience:** The referral process can sometimes be cumbersome or user-unfriendly, discouraging participation.

- **Underutilized Personal Networks:** Candidates frequently overlook engaging their own networks when searching for job opportunities, missing out on potential leads.

#### Strategic Advantages

Exploring the hidden job market offers significant competitive advantages:

- **Reduced Competition:** Since these jobs are not widely publicized, there is typically less competition, increasing your chances of standing out.

- **First Impression Impact:** Being one of the first to know about an opportunity allows you to make a strong, early impression on potential employers.

- **Demonstration of Key Skills:** By proactively networking to uncover these opportunities, you showcase essential soft skills such as initiative and interpersonal communication, which are crucial for success in many roles.

Tapping into the hidden job market through vigilant networking and the cultivation of personal connections can significantly enhance your job search. It not only helps uncover unique opportunities but also demonstrates valuable soft skills that are highly regarded by employers.  

To access this hidden job market, follow these steps:

  1. Make a list of 10 employers you would like to work for.
  2. Find each of these 10 employers on LinkedIn via their company pages.
  3. Follow their LinkedIn company page.
  4. Now, navigate to the people section of their company page.
  5. Filter this section by your desired location.
  6. In the box that allows you to search via keywords, you can type in the job titles of those who would work within your department.
  7. Once you have these people listed, proceed to connect with them and engage them regularly on their posts.
  8. Send these connections a message via LinkedIn and tell them that you're interested in working at their company, and ask them if they have any fresh opportunities available or know of any requisitions that will be released within the next few weeks/months, that you should look out for.
  9. Ask them for a referral or an introduction to the hiring manager.
  10. Repeat this process for 10 more employers, and so on.

Bear in mind that you must be very patient with this process, as it is an unconventional route for landing a job. Therefore, response times are not exact and the application process may not be predefined. Furthermore, not all employers may have systems in place, or be willing to interview or hire you through your following this route.

Nonetheless, it's still worth giving it a try.

20 Companies Hiring Now From Referrals

To make this process easier, a study was recently conducted by Switch On Business to identify which of the top U.S. companies prefer to hire based on internal referrals. To arrive at their final top 20 results, they analyzed Glassdoor data for 1,493 employers to retrieve the percentage of interviewees citing "employee referral" as their reason for securing an interview and job offer.

Based on this information, these 20 companies were ranked as being most likely to hire a referred candidate:

  1. Salesforce
  2. Nutanix
  3. ZoomInfo
  4. Cadence Design Systems
  5. Devon Energy
  6. Booz Allen Hamilton Holding
  7. Salem Media Group
  8. Splunk
  9. Northern Trust
  10. Activision Blizzard
  11. HubSpot
  12. DocuSign
  13. Fluor
  14. VMware
  15. Zscaler
  16. Akamai
  17. Coinbase
  18. Fortinet
  19. Broadcom

It's worth noting that a significant proportion of referrals being used as the basis of hiring, for this top 20 list, are within the tech industry, with many software companies claiming the top spot.

For example, cloud computing giant Salesforce hired more than 41% of its employees through referrals—which is more than any other U.S. company according to the analysis. With Nutani, another software company, 30% of its job offers were through employee-referred candidates, while ZoomInfo's job offers through employee referrals fell just shy of this figure at 29.6%.

These 20 companies—from media to consulting, to software—are excellent examples of how effective employee referrals can be towards landing a new job. If you leverage the power of your network and are willing to think outside the box, you'll find yourself much closer to securing your dream role than you initially imagined.

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