IT Employment

If you choose to recommend or hire friends and family, take heed

If you hire a friend or family member at your organization, or even recommend one for a position, here are a few things to keep in mind.

There's an old Irish saying, "You don't know someone until you've lived with them." I would say you never know a person until you've worked with them. This is why it surprises me that countless people recommend friends and family for positions at their companies without knowing much about their work ethic.

Many of us have been there-a position comes open and you happen to have a friend who is looking for a job. You recommend him because you want to do a good deed (or because your company offers a bounty for people you recommend who are hired). Then that person starts screwing up and the hiring manager looks at you like you gave birth to the person and are forever responsible for every action he does or doesn't take.

Even if a friend personally pulled you from a burning building, that doesn't mean he or she would make a good employee. I would not recommend putting yourself out on a limb for a recommendation unless you have first-hand experience with this person's work habits.

It's even worse if a manager hires a friend for a position on his or her own team. I can't believe this practice is done so much given the minefield of problems that can accompany it. First of all, you have to ask yourself if you'd be comfortable offering a work critique to a person you normally know only socially; it takes a very special, objective person to take such criticism, even when it's constructive, and not hold a grudge. In other words, don't be surprised if, when you ask this staffer/friend if he wants to meet for beers later, that you hear a sarcastic, "I'd like to but I have to WORK ON MY TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS, don't I?" Just ask yourself what the worst possible outcome could be from the work arrangement and decide beforehand if you'll be able to live with it.

Some managers, of course, hire their friends and don't really care how they'll do in a job. They figure if he falls short, one of the non-friend staffers will pick up the slack. Repulsive.

However, if you're dead-set on hiring a friend or family member, you're not repulsive, and there is no company policy against it, it's best that both you and the new hire are clear going in on the expectations.

Make it clear to your uncle/tennis partner/drinking buddy from the beginning what your expectations are. List the skill sets that are expected, what kind of turnaround time is common, etc.

Explain that although you can be instrumental in getting the person hired, you will more than likely have no say when layoffs come around. Set rules on work behavior; for example, in the office you do not want to be called by your childhood nickname of "Monkey." Express that although you "opened the door" you will not be responsible for what happens within the building going forward.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

62 comments
Osiyo53
Osiyo53

As you mention, it very much depends upon how much you know of the person's work ethics, real level of knowledge and skills applicable to the job in question, and so forth. i.e. On several occasions in the past I have personally recommended friends for a job, and sometimes been the person hiring them. Worked fine as long as I had personal knowledge of their OTJ performance. i.e. In several cases they'd been a peer worker or I'd been the person's direct supervisor. And, granted, that the person knew I expected he or she would hold up their end of the deal without question. However, a couple times I made recommendations that got someone a job where I lived to regret it. Each time a situation where it was a friend or relative, but one whom I'd not personally, over some significant period of time, worked with. i.e. My own son once disappointed and embarrassed the heck out of me. At the time he had no particular skills. Had worked in retail sales and such here and there. Did okay as far as I could tell, brought home a regular paycheck. But he decided such jobs didn't pay all that well. Was telling me this day, saying how he wished he could get into something that paid better, was willing to provide training, etc. Just so happened I knew a guy, good friend, who was looking for someone. Not a fancy or high tech job. And meant a night shift. But he was willing to take a raw newbie and provide training. For person to learn how to operate forklifts, picking machines, large hoists, etc. (A large industrial parts distributor) Job paid $16 an hour to start, once you completed training program and passed certifications tests you could be at $22 an hour in 6 months. All the guy wanted was a trainee with decent hand eye coordination, who'd be on the job every scheduled day ... on time ... sober ... ready to work full shift, who was willing and wanting to learn. Okay, heck that was far better pay than my son was getting doing retail sales. And didn't have to know anything beforehand, just be willing to work and learn. So, besides being a friend, this other guy also owed me a few favors, so I made the call. I was happy, problem solved, no fuss, no problems. Until a couple weeks later when friend called me, apologized for having to tell me that he was gonna fire my son at the end of that week. I asked, he told me son was routinely late, always asking to get off early, would take extra break time, and so forth. Oh he was learning the skills exceptionally. Just seemed to be lacking on the work ethic thing. Get there on time and do your best for full shift. The guy NEEDED that in his employees. All of them. They worked with a schedule that needed to be met. I told him not to worry about it, as to how I felt, if son wasn't holding up his end of the bargain, fire him. Of course, I was madder than heck. But it wasn't my friend's problem. I told my son to never bother asking me to EVER recommend him for anything again. Find his own darn jobs. Of course, he was younger then (early 20's). He's straightened out since as near as I can gather. A long time friend of mine was looking for a better job than the place where he worked at the time. He asked if I knew of anyone who'd be looking for is kind of skills. I did. But had never actually worked with this fellow. So I gave him 3 names and numbers to call. People I knew to be looking for someone with his skills, who almost certainly paid better than his current employer. But I told him to NOT use me as a professional reference. Nope, not gonna happen. Would be glad to take calls and answer what I knew about him "other than on the job", but that was it. In this case, worked okay, he got a better job. Similar circumstance, different guy, asked if he could use me as a personal reference and someone who'd recommend him. I had to tell the guy, "No, sorry." Bad idea. Really nice guy. But ... well, he drank too much. He was seeking a job at a different place than where I worked. But wanted me to add the weight of my personal professional credentials behind him by recommending him. Besides the IT related stuff I do I hold professional credentials as an Engineer. I just couldn't do it. Might be looking for a job with those same folks some day, or be contracting to do work for them. Odds were pretty good I'd be face to face some day in some capacity with the guy who would be hiring him. This fellow wanting my recommendation is very good at what he does. When sober. Problem is he tends to fall off the wagon every month or two. Always ends up getting canned even tho the work he does when he's sober is top notch.

rdthomas_61
rdthomas_61

There is nothing worse than having to employ the boss's son/daughter as your assistant. I have had to do it a few times and it has been disastrous. If you want to tell your friend to apply for the job, that is fine, but don't have anything to do with it from the employer's side.

thegreenwizard1
thegreenwizard1

I'll just connect the two parties and told them: You are in your own. I'm not responsable for the hiring or the not hiring. That is your problem between the both. So I'm not bad with my friend/family and neither with the hiring person. But actually I'm the one who hire...so I look carefully and forget family and friends...if it fit that right, and I had fired friends for not be up to what I was expecting.

michaelhuggins
michaelhuggins

At a multinational corporation, the manager who was my boss's boss was someone I admired and respected a great deal. He was fired and later contacted me from his next job. They needed the function I perform, and he persuaded them to create a position for me and then hired me over the misgivings of his own team. The whole experience was a nightmare. If I expressed even mild reservations about an action by another team member, he went straight to the team member in question and repeated what I had said, but in the most inflammatory way possible. Then, as if to overcompensate for his bias, he began responding to every comment I made in a team meeting with sarcastic putdowns. Finally, as if to make up for *that,* he would appear at my cubicle at lunch time with a sheepish grin and invite me to lunch! I was mystified, and to this day, I'm not sure what happened. I seriously wondered if he had suffered a small stroke and was no longer in his right mind. I tried to discuss this with him rationally, but our relationship was eventually destroyed. Even another team member, no admirer of mine, candidly said to me, "Hank is so rude to you, I don't see how you keep from slapping the &*#% out of him." Eventually, he was fired from that job as well. This man had been a divisional VP in a multinational corporation and a colonel in his state's national guard. The whole experience was so bizarre that, had it not happened to me personally, I could scarcely have believed that it happened at all.

ivoyhip
ivoyhip

That is what I will do / did. I will take a look of my friend's resume first. I will also honest to the hiring manager that I did not work with my friend before. I will let the hiring manager to make the decision. I will tell the hiring manager do not do me any favours. If my friend does not good for any interview opporunity, then do not give him any interview. If the hiring manager decides to interview my friend, the hiring manager should conduct a fair and usual interview.

daniel.stipp
daniel.stipp

it's who you know? I have yet to be on the true side of this statement, but conversely I know some dumb as eff people that got their jobs because they were friends and somehow manage the bare minimum to succeed.

jk2001
jk2001

The real issue is if they can do the job well and put the "friend" aspect on the back burner during work. One option is to hire them as a temp, and see how it works out. I have friends who I'd hire in some capacities, but not others. You have to compensate for their weak points - just like anybody. When you hire strangers, you eventually learn their strengths and weaknesses and compensate. If your friends weaknesses compound your team's, you can't hire them. You need someone who rounds out the team.

Englebert
Englebert

When you recommend someone, what you're doing more than anything else is vouching for their character. That they behave well, get along, dont do drugs, alcoholic, yell, family person, sense of humor..etc.etc Everything else has to be vetted by HR and/or the Hiring Manager

kjohnson
kjohnson

Curiously enough one of the Ig-Nobel Prizes this year went to a piece of research into the Peter Principle. The research concluded that organisations which hire and promote essentially at random are more productive than those which promote the people who achieve the best outcomes in their grade. Sounds ridiculous, but it is very plausible. If you always promote the person who does his (her) present job the best, then eventually every employee will be stuck in a job that they can't do and won't be promoted out of. If you promote people at random then you get competent people haphazardly distributed throughout the organisation. That, and there can be no dispute over whether a particular promotion is fair, because choosing an individual at random, as in a lottery, whatever else it may be, is always absolutely fair.

Clair
Clair

There are horror stories for all types of hirings. However I believe that friend/ acquaintance recommendations still work well. I probably would not hire a friend to work directly for me but have on numerous occassions recommended friends for positions were it seemed they were qualified. It is still up to the hiring manager to control performance.

jsaubert
jsaubert

The word friends is really broad term. Certainly I'd never hire someone most folks considered friends over another candidate that was more suited to the job. However there is a small group of fiends I have that were my go-to guys before my current job. I rarely had to hire someone else if I could get a few of them to come on staff. Holiday season 2005 I get hired to manage seasonal store 10 hours before all my displays and product are to be delivered and 46 hours before the store was set to open. We're opening the Monday before Thanksgiving. I needed a crew to assemble displays, set product, make deliveries and work weird hours with no notice. We opened EARLY, made about 150% our sales quota and did it with half the recommended staff. It was just myself, 4 of my friends and later on I hired my Mother to act as bookkeeper and delivery organizer. I've got half a dozen other cases with the same result. It really depends on who your friends are and how well you know them. Most people simply don't know their friends well enough to make the determination that they would be good employees. I didn't know how good my group was until I needed a few people for a job immediately and I stared calling everyone I knew in desperation. I wouldn't hire each of them for any job, but I know their strengths and weaknesses and under what conditions they're good. I've had a few disasters but far more success with family and friends. They all understand I'm the boss and I always reciprocated when I found myself working for them.

rogcoley
rogcoley

Who turned out to be a fiend. Unbeknownst to me she was carry on a sexual relationship with my married boss who was also an embezzler. I trusted her because I had worked with her for months and she even helped me move. She eavesdropped on my conversations with my girlfriend and co-workers. She got me in a ton of trouble. It worked out though because another company hired me. I put my resume out and found a much better company, job and salary.

submissions
submissions

- Rule #1 Family run business, unless you plan to marry into the business, don't expect equitable treatment. - If hiring friends or family - you get what you deserve! Which is why competent family business gets outside human resource people for hires. - Very often the family business thinks the Son/Daughter/CrownPrince should be the logical successor. (This is not logical but business suicide) The United States is not a family run business! Why don't you check out Saudi Arabia, North Korea and other fine examples of Family Business run Amok. The United States was founded on the principle that a country should not be the sole playground for a Monarchy, Despot or Group. A Monarchy is end result of cronyism and the typical family run business out of control. It's the ultimate result of hiring friends and family and takes a revolution to overthrow. It's better to have friends, than revolutions in the office.

oschmid14
oschmid14

As it pertains to so-called friends I guess a differentiation should be made between real-friends and acquaintances. The first ones that fall in the first group I never should have a problem to recommend for a job or work with. The ones in in the second group some care should be taken. Also, when recommending a friend take into consideration whether you do it because you feel sorry (reasons could be unemployment or stuck in a "shitty" job or similar) or whether you know (not assume) this person is a good fit for the position. I am working currently for a former boss of mine again, who eventually became also a very good friend of mine, and I know he hired me for my skills as they pertain to this position and my work ethics. He told me very clearly that he would not have hired me if he would not have been convinced that I am the right person for tge job, despite the fact that I was unemployed for over a year when he had offered me that position.

bus66vw
bus66vw

Look around you while you are at work. Count how many people you work with who you also count as friends. Sit down this weekend and make a list of all your friends then put a check by all of the ones you met at work or at a work related function. My guess is that for most of us that still work there will be a lot of check marks on that list. Now ask the question differently "How can I not recommend a friend"? If you buy into what I'm saying then take it one step farther, your resume is needed but your friends will get you the job.

stupid user name
stupid user name

If the person doesn't perform to expectations, for whatever reason, it's your fault. They might even think that they're hiring another "you", when we all know there's only one "me". One time my boss wanted to hire someone who used to work at the same company where I once worked. I told him I never met the person, but would call some contacts back there if he wanted. I did and him gave my report, which was neither glowing nor dark and gloomy. He hired the guy and it turned out to be a mistake. I was blamed; the boss often saying "You said I should hire him". Of course, that boss was a jerk anyway and I applied for another position in the company and was accepted, becoming at least his peer. Just deserves in my book.

Zahra B.
Zahra B.

My family does have an arrangement that could (and should, IMO) be used in other companies: - What happens at work is work - Conversely, when not-work time comes around, minimal mention of work is made So, a twist of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". The family business has employed most (if not all) of my aunts and uncles over the years, yet work discussion at family parties doesn't go further than "How's business?" "Good. And how's your job going?". Any work-related intervention that may need larger explanations (e.g. when my father knew he would eventually die of cancer and decided to cede his parts to his brother) happens at separate times, in a family meeting called for that specific reason. So: - At work, you should act as you would with any other colleague. - Outside of work, you should act as you would if didn't work together (unless said friend or family member expressly tells you they want/need to talk about work, but that should be the exception, not the norm)

sophia38
sophia38

Scary but very true... I recently recommended someone and now am thinking twice to what I have done!!! Oh man!!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Mostly because none of my family or friends them do the same kind of work I do, but also because I've never worked with any of them before. If I don't know the work ethic or qualifications, I don't recommend. By the same token, you do what you can for the people you know. If I know of a job opening that somebody might be interested in, I'm more than happy to let them know about it. After that, they're on their own.

nctram
nctram

I have recently seen a situation where the hired one is better than the Manager and this Manager is so egoistic to approve of it or even let it happen. Shouldnt there be a mention about these type of Managers, who hire friends/former colleagues/family and then finally screw their career?

JonathanPDX
JonathanPDX

the dilemma of dating (and all that may include) someone with whom you work. Caveat recommendor! ;-)

Itamar1
Itamar1

Both sayings are very true. ?You don?t know how it is to LIVE with someone until you?ve LIVED with them.? AND ?You don?t know how it is to WORK with someone until you?ve WORKED with them.? When you bring a close friend to your work environment, you change the circumstances of both your work and your friendship.

Mark.Moran
Mark.Moran

It is possible to do this and not get burned. Many years ago I got my friend an interview at the company I worked. However before the interview I made it clear to my manager that:- a) I made no claims about his suitability for the job b) The descision to hire him should be entirely down to my manager and my pre existing relationship with this persion should bear no influence on that descision. c) I would take no responsibility for him or his actions. My manager happily accepted this quite reasonable position, and subsequently had no problems rejecting him as a suitable candidate after the interview.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

I've recommended friends for jobs, but I also realize that my personal judgment will be called into question and credibility damaged if they turn out to be duds, so I try very hard to only present people I'm absolutely confident about. The other friends that need jobs but I don't feel would fit in with my workplace or skills requirements, I steer towards other friends' workplaces and/or offer to help with their resumes, software tutelage, etc. Everyone deserves help of some kind when jobhunting, but one size doesn't fit all when it comes to being at my own workplace.

bob
bob

Perhaps hiring only enemies or strangers works for some, but I like to know something about my hires beforehand, if possible, and I would think it foolish to recommend people I don't know.

Northern PM
Northern PM

I worked for nearly 5 years for a company who encouraged everyone to recommend friends and family for positions in the company when they came open. It worked extremely well, in that atmosphere. The company had many long standing family and friend connections, brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters? even husbands and wives. If an employee recommended someone, that person got an interview, but to get the job they had to have the skills and they had to pass through the interview process. A recommendation showed that you as the recommender liked the company well enough to suggest friends and family work there. Also since you did like the company, you tended to prompt your friend and family about the work atmosphere and company culture. I recommended my step-daughter for a n entry level position in customer service while she was in university and I talked to her about the fact that this recommendation put my reputation on the line and that she would need to act accordingly. For the company the benefits where that the incoming employee tended to know something about how the company worked and had a built in mentor for finding out who to talk to. The existing employee felt happy that their opinion was listened to. I think one key factor was to only recommend people who you know well or who you have influence over.

TheAlcatrazKid
TheAlcatrazKid

They slack off, talk to their friends all day, leave early and arrive late. Yet, if you are a few minutes late for work, you would think you are taking the food out of their fatted mouths. Just like the old fable ?don?t do as I do, do as I say?. Not equitable, but in this area, a job is a job.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I read an interesting book by Peter C Newman, about Canadian business dynasties. And the pattern is pretty clear. The people who found the company, were driven to succeed. The people who inherit it most often fail to maintain the growth. In many cases the third generation runs it into the ground. Its sad that many great businesses I knew as a kid have dissapeared because the successors couldn't run a business.

robo_dev
robo_dev

The 'Family' in this case was, associated with a certain 'family' made popular by a show called 'the Sopranos'. The owner of the company is now in Federal prison getting some long term ethics training. (12 years)

IT-b
IT-b

There's no hard & fast rule. If you know someone's going to be a great employee - no matter how you know them, then go ahead and recommend. I think the advice is more for the case where you don't know what kind of employee they'll be - you've never worked with them, and whatever you enjoy doing with them does not necessarily tie in. In that case, avoid putting yourself in a potential position of blame. We all have friends at work we'd recommend - there are a lot of awesome people in this biz. When I read the article, I see the point as - just because my cousin Ed needs a job, doesn't make him qualified for the one I know about. If you have a friend who's qualified, and would bring value - hurry and recommend them!

abear4562
abear4562

I have done this twice, and it always worked out well. But then, I am picky about my friends. They wouldn't ask me to recommend them for a job they aren't suited for, and I wouldn't want a friend who asked for that. That being said, the person who recommended a purely objective process for hiring (actuarial versus psychological) is dreaming. Someone can be absolutely brilliant, and able to answer any question you throw at him, but still completely tear a department apart because everyone hates his guts. Been there, seen it happen.

kjohnson
kjohnson

I never write references either. If anyone asks me for a reference I ask them to write out what they want me to say about them. Then I copy type it and sign it.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

I've run into a couple of people over the decades that I consider better than I am at my job. None of them ever had any problems moving to other positions; but if they did ask me for a recommendation I'd have given it in a heartbeat, even if that meant I'd be out looking shortly thereafter.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I don't remember seeing this more than four or five times. I don't know the background in every case, but in at least three cases it was intentionally done, as the manager was choosing his successor. Much, MUCH, more common, though, is the manager who hires a family member or friend, allows them to get away with almost anything, and expects the rest of the team to pick up the slack.

spage
spage

That is bad, but what about befriending a subordinate employee. Becoming close friends with someone that you might have to fire some day. Now that is something that people do all the time and always leads to an ugly mess.

jcitron
jcitron

I maintain the same policy as well, and it has worked for me too.

apeterson22
apeterson22

I don't give recommendation either. I don't expect recommendation because it if/when something goes badly it is looked back to the recommender. I have no problem letting a friend know of a position that is available but I do not give the recommendation. I am told about job opening at friends companies all the time and them say they can get me in. I usually turn them down because I think it is important to keep work life separate from business. There will be some cross over, but keeping that to a minimum is best for all parties involved. Think about this, have you ever had a horrible manager/supervisor/boss who was not qualified for their position, yet they were in that position because their friend recommended them. The rumor mills start to fly about that person only being there because they are friends with so and so. Or you may be that person. People will have no respect for you or your decisions and you cannot successfully manage anything if you do not have the respect of your workers, at least enough for them to continue to work hard for you. My advise would be not to give recommendation even just to get an interview because someone will always end up on the short end of that stick and friendships as well as jobs will be lost.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

Okay, if you made the claims you made to me for "recommending" your friend, I would have rejected him as a suitable candidate as well, no matter how well the interview went. It seems like you unintentionally (or intentionally) sent the message: "Don't hire this guy."

t.rohner
t.rohner

you really have to be sure about the person as Toni stated. I was in such a situation, when my boss asked me for a successor. I had a quite close buddy from my former department in that company, who wanted my job, but i didn't think he was up to it. So i recommended a not so close guy from the same department, who did a real good job. (except he had to go to jail during the nights for six months, because he didn't go to the mandantory military service, out of religious motives...)

talk2dammo
talk2dammo

One's integrity would be called to question based on the work ethic / character displayed by the friend/family you have recommended, i believe it's best you recommend only someone you can vouch for not just with regards to work but also general behaviour.

kjohnson
kjohnson

I've never had a stranger knock on my door and ask me to recommend him for a job, and I don't think I ever will. However, if someone who knows me needs a reference, I will provide one which says whatever he (she) wants me to write. The reference system is useless anyway -- at one interview I found that I had two contradictory references which disagreed about what work I had been doing for ten years -- so why not do a kindness for a friend?

megoli
megoli

That is the most typical PHB response I have ever heard in my life. My anger stems from the fact that I am one of the guys who has to "pick up the slack". Yeah, I'm the guy with actual skills, who has a work-load from hell and constantly and continuously brings in the deliverables while his pals sit on thir f#$@ing asses for four and a half years and get paid more than me. And I'll do it again. Do you know why? Because I take pride in my work. No one has to tell me I did a good job. I KNOW I did a good job when they push the button and that place runs and works and does what it's supposed to do. All your secret handshakes don't mean sh#t when the rubber hits the road.

tiedmyhands67
tiedmyhands67

Of course... Real question is... How can you recommend someone you don't know? I mean sure you could be the person who says "they know someone" but the end result is -- You either know someone or don't... Unless you have funny ethics and don't really know how to determine certain characteristic's or blah blah... But lets be real here for a moment... You can't recommend someone you don't know... Because you don't know them... That's pretty obvious... infact i am sure no one i know has ever recommended someone that they don't actually know... That's pretty clear cut to me...

ericblissmer
ericblissmer

i recommended a friend of my wife that was looking for almost a year. It was for call-center rep. HR called me on her start date when she decided not to show up because she didnt like the hours (that she already agreed to). Guess welfare, EBT, and child support are paying well these days. Now, I will not recommend anyone for a job, but I will let them know if one is open. If they use my name on the app, I wont deny knowing them, but I will say that I dont know much about their work ethic, only personal aquaintance... On the other hand, i'm pretty sure a good percentage of hiring is done using the good ol' boys club anyway so, if you know your friends, and are confident in them, go ahead. I knew better with this one, but did it anyway since it wasnt in my department.

Zwort
Zwort

It would be a non sequitur argument to use your comments to justify or recommend the hiring of relatives or other people known to the hirer. If there is a good reason for doing so - outside of a family business, and from a professional perspective I'm even too sure of that - I don't know, but from a professional perspective I do know that selection procedures, including selection centres, are far superior to the word of mouth or known socially/by virtue of familial relationship or friendship. This is merely a variant of the clinical vs actuarial argument. Clinicians in psychiatry are easily fooled and manipulated by, e.g., psychopaths into outcomes that favour them and not the (hopefully well intentioned and properly run) psychiatric system that protects us from said psychopaths. In opposition to the clinical approach (chatty interviews, assessments based on what the clinician is thinking) is inferior to the actuarial approach, which runs on rails; the actuarial assessment involves strictly ordained Q's & A's, tests. Some interviewing can take place, but only as an adjunct, and strictly controlled by procedures, with pre-ordained questions. The job hirer/interviewer is a functional analogue of the clinician in this argument.

arthurborges
arthurborges

There's the tale of a Chinese emperor who asked a particular advisor to recommend someone for a post of chief magistrate and he recommended his brother. When the emperor questioned that, the advisor replied: "You asked me to recommend a suitable candidate for chief magistrate, not who was my brother." Some time later, he asked the advisor to recommend someone for a post as prefect and he recommended a personal enemy. When the emperor questioned that, the advisor replied: "You asked me to recommend a suitable candidate for prefect, not who was my enemy."

kevin.stafferton
kevin.stafferton

You recommend people you have already worked with in a former position and so already know their work ethic. Or you don't recommend anyone at all, it's not compulsory you know.

Englebert
Englebert

Many a time, the family business is driven to succeed because they 'live and breathe' the company 24/7/365. However, after a few generations, new thinking, technologies, ideas must come in from an outsider. Also, the issue of favoritism/nepotism arises as the next family generation tree branches. So, there's pros and cons which have sprouted Management consultants who specialize in succession.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

Once, my direct supervisor asked me to hire his friend's wife. The job was an entry level position, and this hire got away with so much. Initially, I treated her fairly, but every time I criticized her, she went to my boss. A couple of the criticisms: 1. She took a day of sick leave, but I saw her shopping when I was on my lunch break (someone else in the group said she planned her sick day). 2. She was not performing well (she processed less documents than others). She was given easier documents, and still did about 60% of what an average person did. Every time she complained, my boss met with me to say how unfairly I treated the employee. I eventually learned and let her get away with anything. I knew that if I treated her as others, it was bad for me.

Green Tambourine
Green Tambourine

Our boss hired his daughter and his learning disabled, deaf son. They're held to different standards then the rest of us so that's really aggravating.

rogcoley
rogcoley

It ain't what you know but who you blow!

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

You assume that you only know friends and family. I would not hesitate to recommend a co-worker that was qualified for a job. I just don't recommend friends or family. I put more value in the friendships than in wanting to help someone with hiring a competent employee.

kerwiss
kerwiss

How do you respond if your former colleague or friend whom you know as an under-performer in work asks you to recommend him for a job in your department?

toni.bowers
toni.bowers

...that you not recommend/hire friends or relatives JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE friends and relatives. If you know them to be competent, then go ahead. But too many times you don't know how a friend or relative really is going to be on the job simply because you have an informal relationship with them. I can't be any clearer than that.

bob
bob

You get the idea and sound like you have some experience and/or training. Had I thought it necessary to expound on the thought, I would have written something similar to what you did, without the axioms. Sometimes, with some positions, personal recommendations are the most important. Think "background checks." Assuming that you are in a position to make a recommendation, if any person asks you to recommend him or her for a job, I think that indicates a level of respect for you, personally and/or professionally. The same thing applies when you are asked for a recommendation by the prospective employer. In either case, the person deserves mutual respect, and that includes truth and the courage of your convictions. Hiding behind a trite saying (Ever notice how trite sayings often come in pairs, and often contradict each other?) such as "Never hire friends or relatives" is a cowardly way to avoid BEING a friend, as opposed to the self serving HAVING a friend. Now I suppose I have to state the obvious: No, I don't hire or recommend friends JUST because they are friends, nor do I hire or recommend relatives JUST because they are relatives, although I have hired and recommended both. I have also recommended that friends and relatives NOT be hired. Because I was asked. Here are some trite sayings I like: Take care of your friends. Take care of your family. Be a friend a friend would want to have.

Becca Alice
Becca Alice

Discretion is often the better part of valor. Given a choice between one side of the scale weighted with doing harm to my company by hiring an inappropriate person and the other side with hurting a friend's feelings, I'll go with hurting the friend's feelings. But if I don't have to hurt the friend's feelings I'd certainly prefer not to, especially if it's someone I'm in a long-term relationship with (ingrained member of friend group, brother-in-law, etc.) and will have to deal with for some time to come. In that case, my "tactic" certainly isn't in favor of being friendly, but my values are in line with what I think is professionally appropriate. Sometimes common sense comes before pride over "cowardice."

bob
bob

I merely asked the obvious, logical question which arises from the gist of the article and its title. As far as valuing friendships, it seems a one sided, narcissistic position to not recommend a friend because you fear losing him or her as a friend. What about the value YOU bring to the friendship? That is just a coward's way out, as is the suggestion in another post that one lie to the friend that no position is available. Actually, neither tact is friendly at all.

cblapp
cblapp

For a colleague, you can tell him you don't normally recommend someone for a position unless you think it's a perfect fit, and you just don't think this is a good fit. Either the position doesn't suit him or it's not something you think he'd like once he learns all the underlying politics. For a friend, you can tell him you can suggest him for an interview but he needs to get the job himself. Then you submit his resume' without an opinion one way or another. Or you suggest to HR that this person has the skill set, but you haven't worked with him directly so you really can't comment further.

spage
spage

Give an excuse. Tell him/her that the company you work for already has too many applicants for the job. Tell him/her that your boss only uses specific sources for job candidates. It doesn't matter what you say, but don't feel like you are compelled to recommend your slacker friend just because he's a friend.