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Dos and Dont’s for Making Job Referrals

If your employer is looking for a new accounts receivable clerk and you know exactly the right person for the job, should you make a job referral? This is something that employees face all the time, and there really is no right answer. Making job referrals can turn out to be a bad thing, but they can also increase your employers confidence in you, and you’ll help a friend or family member get a job. When making job referrals, consider the following dos and don’ts.

Do Know Their Work Ethic

It is never a good idea to make job referrals when you don’t know the individual’s work ethic. If you recommend someone to a job and they fail to perform—or worse, if they fail to show up at all—it will reflect poorly on you and could result in fewer promotions and raises. It’s best to only refer individuals with whom you have worked in the past, or at least have seen in action at a former job.

Don’t Worry About Competition

It isn’t a good idea to decide against making job referrals just because you’re afraid of a little healthy competition. If the individual you have in mind is a stellar worker with a positive attitude, he or she will reflect well on you, even if your work isn’t quite as perfect. In fact, the more capable and talented that person is, the better you will look, and it could result in favorable career opportunities in the future.

Do Go to Bat

If you know that the individual you’re recommending would make a great addition to your company, go to bat for him or her. Making job referrals isn’t just about mentioning it to your boss in passing. Instead, walk his or her resume to your boss’s office and ask to explain why he or she would be perfect for the position. Vouch for credibility, work ethic, education and job performance if you know for a fact that it is true.

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Don’t Make Recommendations Lightly

“Doing a friend a favor” isn’t a good reason to make job referrals. In fact, it could land you in hot water faster than stealing from petty cash. Your boss relies on your good judgment to make educated referrals, and if you screw up this time, your word will never be trusted again. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a good friend, but think long and hard before sticking your neck out for someone else in the workplace.

Do Encourage Your Friend to Act

It isn’t enough to throw your weight around when making job referrals. Your friend or acquaintance or former colleague must do his part as well. Encourage him to submit is resume to your boss and even to make a visit to the company in order to make a good impression. Your boss will want to meet him and interview him despite your golden word that he’s perfect.

Don’t Advertise Your Personal Relationship

When making job referrals, focus on his or her professional qualities. If you keep referring to your recommendation as a friend or buddy or pal, your boss will wonder where your true motivations lie. If you’ve worked with your friend before, call him a “former colleague”; if not, call him an “acquaintance”. If your boss knows that you hang out and watch football every weekend, he’ll be less likely to listen.