There’s a hidden diversity gap in the way people get jobs, and it affects their salary.
Payscale surveyed over 53,000 people to see if they received a referral to get their current job. They discovered that while employee referrals are the most common job application method in most industries, not all referrals carry equal weight–nor do they guarantee the job seeker will get the best salary for the position.
The most valuable type of referral comes from a business contact such as a former colleague—the higher up the corporate ladder, the better. But it makes a difference if you’re a male or female job seeker. Through this type of referral, men can expect to get an offer of $8,200 more than the average base salary for the position but women would only see their salary offer increase by an average of $3,700.
If that referral comes from a friend or family member, the lack of clout shows in the salary offer, reducing it by an average of $1,600.
Not everyone can get a referral, regardless. Men of color are 26% less likely to have gotten one for their current job, and women of color are 35% less likely.