Effective and efficient recruiting is required for firms as they seek to maintain a competitive advantage in the race to hire top talent. At the time of this study, United States unemployment rates had reached historical lows of less than 4% as of the first quarter of 2019 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). To maintain connectivity to employee networks, employers have leveraged employee referral programs (ERP) and other sources such as LinkedIn for hiring efforts. Firms are inclined to attempt to invoke extrinsic motivations by increasing bonus offerings for ERPs as they seek to fill roles that are challenging to source. This study aims to leverage three years of hire data from a U.S. accounting and professional services firm to address three gaps with ERP research, these include; program effectiveness (performance and retention of hires from ERPs and cost-per-hire of ERP hires), comparison of hires from ERPs and LinkedIn and finally, a review of contingent value or contributions to target populations that enable a competitive advantage. Data analyses provide guidance for practitioners to ensure effective and efficient recruiting strategies. The study uncovered if the presence of a bonus (or level of bonus) influenced the performance and retention of hires generated from an ERP. Additionally, the evolution of social and professional networking reinforced the importance to compare ERPs to LinkedIn hires to further understand how each has contributed to important targeted populations, including women and minority hires.