Question: Should You Refer A Friend For A Job?

Finding a job can be maddening for most.  You network, you send resumes, you volunteer your services, you get certified and…still no job!

We’ve all been there at one time or another, and we’ve all probably wished a benevolent, employed friend would refer us for a job.  But, should you refer a friend for a job?


Reasons to Say “Yes”

Did you know that most employers cite referrals from existing employees as the most trusted and most effective source of new hires.  In fact, according to Career Xroads Sources of Hire 2010 report, 27% of all external hires were sourced via employee referrals while only 13% were sourced via online job boards.  The reasoning behind this is that employers have found that candidates who are referred by existing employees are more likely to be interviewed, more likely to be hired and more likely to stay with the company.

Employers are so convinced that employee referrals are the way to go that they are offering hefty rewards to employees who refer superstars that are ultimately hired.  Prudential pays employees between $500 and $2,500 per referral.  Vistaprint pays $1,500 per referral, plus a home theater package for the employee who refers the most new hires.  Nortel pays $2,000 per referral, plus employees are entered into a lottery to win $100,000.

Given this, it should come as no surprise to you that such a referral from you–a benevolent, employed friend–would be hotly pursued and prized.  It might add a few bucks to your bank accounts too.

Then, there are the non-monetary rewards:  The “Best Friend Ever!” award, seeing your friend(s) at work, helping your friend(s) save their home(s), good Karma.

Reasons to Say “No”

So, there are plenty of reasons to say “Yes”, but probably just as many to say “No”.  Let’s explore them.

  1. Your friend deserved to be fired from their last job.
  2. Your friend is not really a friend (just cozying up to you for a referral).
  3. Your workplace is a “friend-free” zone and you want to keep it that way.
  4. Your friends are not as talented as they think they are.
  5. Your friend has sticky fingers.
  6. You’re barely hanging onto your job.
  7. You’re afraid you’ll be upstaged by your friend(s).
  8. You’re not benevolent.

So, should you refer a friend for a job?

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