IDC Research Confirms Employee Referrals Are Most Effective Source for Hiring Internet Talent

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., January 4, 2000 — The most valuable resource in the Internet economy today seems to be people with the talent to create and deliver electronic products and services. Not only are they a critical element, they are also a very scarce resource. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the best place to find these rare qualified potential employees is through a referral from a current employee.

"Employee referrals are the most effective source of hiring for Internet companies," said Dr. H. Michael Boyd, manager of IDC's Human Resourcing Strategies research program. "Although there has been a rapid implementation of new and creative recruiting strategies and sources, the traditional sources and practices still produce the greatest number of hires. It is important to point out, however, that usually a combination of sources, and not just one source, leads to a hire."

The print media still plays an important role in bringing employers qualified candidates. IDC found a company's own Web page to have the least number of hires attributed to it.

Because IT talent is so sparse, people with the requisite skills are in the driver's seat, able to choose the type of work they do, where they do it, when they do it, and how much they get paid for it. Belief in the industry is that the problem will only worsen, and the IT workforce of the future will be harder to find, harder to hire, harder to retain, and harder to manage.

"Firms that enhance and empower their staffing people will find that they will be able to compete more successfully in the marketplace for the needed IT skills," Boyd said. "An employer or enterprise will need to discover and offer a unique employment proposition for each person whom they want to engage.

"In the intellectual age of work, the only asset that a company has is its human capacity. No people, no capacity, no company," he added.

IDC recently published Internet Firms Will Increase Competition for Talent (IDC #B21000). This report looks at where Internet companies are finding qualified employment candidates and the skill sets that are in highest demand. To order a copy of the report, contact Sally Donovan at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4219 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.