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Should You Refer Your Friend For A Job At Your Company? Here’s How To Tell

Source | FastCompany :  BY AMY ELISA JACKSON

These days, it seems like a job referral is the only way a candidate can land an offer from a dream company. So the number of times a friend, family friend, or former colleague has emailed you to ask for a reference to work at your current company has probably increased over the years.

You know the email—it reads something like:

Hi Old Friend,

Hope all is well. I saw that you’re currently working at XYZ company. How do you like it? I was scrolling their job listings and saw a role that I’m perfect for. Can I send over my resume for you to submit me as a referral candidate?

In all likelihood, you’re glad to hear from your friend and always happy to be a professional support. Plus, there’s the financial incentive many companies offer current employees who refer top-notch candidates. But should you blindly or frequently refer friends to work at your current company, or even your former employer?

Jamie Hichens, senior talent acquisition partner at Glassdoor, advises caution. “Unless you’ve seen your friend in a professional setting firsthand, it can be risky,” she says.

Before recommending your college buddy for a gig, here are 10 things you should ask yourself first. Trust us, it could save you from a broken friendship or HR whispers down the line.


While you may have been approached by your friend via email about the role, take time to hop on a call with him or her to get a sense of their interest and to reconnect. Blindly recommending an old friend who you may not really know could backfire for the company and for the candidate. When it comes to referrals, remember that HR considers current employees the first line of defense, so to speak, and they value your real opinion–so make sure you actually have one by taking 15 minutes to talk with your friend.

“The consequences are that it could not only affect your friendship for the worse but could potentially damage your credibility at work if your friend turns out to not be a good fit for the position and company,” warns Hichens.


You should only recommend a friend for a role at your company if you’re confident that their skills or passions are in line with the job description. Take a moment to actually read the job description or talk to the hiring manager so that you, as the reference, have a good understanding of what the team is looking for and can evaluate your friend properly.

“If [you] truly know your friend is going to bring their A-game to the role, and if the two of you have had an honest conversation about what this could potentially do to your friendship if it ended up not being a fit,” says Hitchens, “then you should refer them.”

Read on….

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