Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Things to Consider When Recommending a Friend for the Job

3 Things to Consider When Recommending a Friend for the JobYour company is hiring for a new position and you believe you know the right person for the job.  As a manager, you understand the importance of finding the right person for the job.  However, have you really stopped to think about what would happen if you mistakenly recommended the wrong person for the job?  Before you make that recommendation, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

1. Is it really the right fit?

Sometimes, we can overlook some of the red flags, telling us not to recommend a person for the job.  This is especially the case when recommending friends for the job.  Before you recommend a friend to your company, make sure you have done your homework regarding the job requirements and your friend’s experience.  Never recommend someone with the hopes of “helping”them out, while disregarding their skills.

Don’t be afraid of asking your friend about their experience and work history.  Explain to him that you simply want to ensure that it is a good fit for him before making a recommendation.  Find out what type of work environment your friend desires and what he is used to.

2. What if your company is not interested in your recommendation?

Don’t be surprised if you recommend your friend and he is not contacted for an interview.  Perhaps your recommendation is lacking in certain must-have skills needed for the job.  Find out what you can about the key requirements before making your recommendation.  If possible, speak with your fellow manager who is hiring for the position in order to gain more insight on what is needed from the selected candidate.

3. What if your recommendation is hired and it doesn’t work out?

Business Insider states that you are putting your reputation and credibility on the line when recommending someone for a position with your company.

What if your recommendation is hired and doesn’t work out?  Think about possible ways that this could affect your reputation at your company, as well as your relationship with your recommended friend.

In the past, I have seen instances where someone’s recommendation was hired, only to fail miserably due to lacking the skills and work.  When a successful manager recommends someone, sometimes the company may take your recommendation to heart.  The hiring manager may not interview your recommendation as thoroughly as he would others, believing your statement that this is the person for the job.  When this happens, it puts you in a bad light when the recommendation doesn’t work out and it can also damage the friendship between you and your recommendation.

In closing, the most important thing you can do before making a recommendation is to do your research.  Research the position requirements, speak with the hiring manager, and find out as much as you can about your recommendation’s experience and skills.  Remember that when you recommend someone for the job, you are putting your stamp of approval on them for that particular job.  Make sure you know who you are recommending and why.

Have you ever made a recommendation that went sour?  Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Image: Wavebreak Media Ltd/

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Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.

1 comment

  • I forwarded a friend’s resume to my son, saying ” she’s an attractive young lady.” He claims he can’t legally consider hiring her because I said she was “young” and “attractive.” Does my saying this automatically mean he cannot legally consider her for employment?