My Zone's Human Resources Manager contacted me via email to let me know a friend of his was applying for a position w/i my department. He went on to say this individual was a good person and would be good fit.  

I felt this was, on the surface, fairly benign, but somewhat inappropriate considering his position. I chose to not respond to his email. I figured, when reviewing candidates I would chose per usual & if this person made the cut, so be it.

Yesterday, however, the HR Mgr called me to inquire as to whether I'd pulled his friend's application. I said no, that I would be reviewing applications at a later date. He once again urged me to look at his friend's application. I told him I would review it.

This whole situation seems like a ticking time bomb. Am I out of line to think he's crossing one?


timrutter's picture

He's stepped accross the line of referring a friend to help both of you to actively using his role power/position to assist a friend. It's definately feedback time.

If you acceed to his pressure, what if the guy turns out to be a bad hire? Does your HR Manager go in to bat for him rather than acting in the companys' best interests? You are definately right to have a twitch about this.

BonBon13's picture

 Thanks for the response.


RichRuh's picture
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Referrals are a great way to hire people.  Not only do you get people who are known to others in the organization, but the new hire is often under extra pressure to not reflect badly on their friend.

For me, a referral gets a candidate past the initial screen and gets them an interview.  And that's it.  After that, it's up to them.


hrjen's picture
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Unless he is requesting that you change your process or criteria it should be benign or even a positive.  HR is highly motivated to bring the best into the company considering that the poor hires often end up on our desk.  I've only referred candidates personally once or twice in my 12 year career because of that reason.

If your HR Manager has demonstrated they don't understand "performance" and only understand "happy employees"
- disregard my statement above.  If that is the case judge the referral by the referring employee - just as you would any other referral.

BonBon13's picture

 Thanks HRJEN. Perhaps my concern stems from other employees that were in house, prior to my taking position, that were social acquaintances of his. Both of these individuals were friendly, positive underperformers. I gave him feedback on both individuals, after he inquired as to why I had parted ways with them.

Again, on the surface he's just asking me to consider someone, but given that he has a friendship with this individual, it feels like nepotism. Perhaps if the applicant had listed my Reg HRM as a reference it would be different. To date, the candidate has not inquired as to the status of his app. My gut says its not a merit based endorsement, but I will proceed per usual (as RICHRUH indicated) b/c the company doesn't pay me for my gut, just my best judgement. 

I think TIMRUTTER made a good point, though, about how involved my Reg HRM will be in this person's performance over time.

hrjen's picture
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A pattern changes everything.  Sounds like your assessment has merit.  Good luck finding the right hire!

timrutter's picture is generally worth questioning.

You're not at risk of a bad hire though, as you've put the bar high, questioned motives, reviewed resumes inquisitively and will be interviewing thoroughly.

Any query over who you recommend will be met with a mountain of good practice and data.