Resource Centre Career Development Should I Give My Friend A Job Recommendation In Our Company?

Should I Give My Friend A Job Recommendation In Our Company?

Should You Endorse Someone For A Job? Dear BrighterMonday, I am in a dilemma. My friend is looking for a job and she has been for a while. She graduated 2 years ago and since then, she has not held down a job for long. She always complains then quits in a huff or gets […]

Should You Endorse Someone For A Job?

Dear BrighterMonday,

I am in a dilemma. My friend is looking for a job and she has been for a while. She graduated 2 years ago and since then, she has not held down a job for long. She always complains then quits in a huff or gets fired. I enlisted her help on a project I was working on, and I learnt that she is entitled and expects everything to work in her favour. She is lazy and impatient. Now, a job opportunity arose in the company where I work and she called me and told me to put in a good word for her. I know she needs a job but from experience, I am not sure I want to put my name and reputation on the line for her. What should I do?



Hi Sue,

Thanks for writing to us and good job on trying to help your friend. Job recommendation is one of the easiest ways of helping someone get a job. While some people may think that it is an unfair tactic as it locks out people who genuinely have the right skills for the job since they do not know anyone, this is a tactic that has been used widely. Although this is not similar to your current situation, it still amounts to knowing someone who can put in a good word for a candidate.

Marketers too use this tactic a lot. Although marketing has evolved and messaging undergone some transformation, word of mouth marketing is still a great tactic and that is why marketers endeavour to give clients the best experience so that they can put in a good word about their products and services to their friends and family members. Moreover, people will often ask for a person’s experience with a product or company before making a decision about it. Take the example of house-hunting, people will tend to find out from friends about a neighbourhood they want to move into when trying to decide whether the place is suitable or not. As such, job recommendation comes from a deeply-rooted culture of trusting someone’s experience and word.

While it is good to help a person get a job, there are some things you need to consider before taking the plunge. Here are a few pointers to help you make the decision.

  • The Person’s Employment History

Employment history

In your case, you seem to have a brief understanding of your cousin’s employment history. This is important as it lets you see the kind of person she is and what you can expect. A person may be a great friend or relative but may not be as good when it comes to achieving set goals and targets. Their work ethic and commitment to tasks should give you an idea of who they are on the job so that you can make an informed decision before recommending them.

  • Your Reputation Is On The Line

Your reputation

When you recommend someone for a job, the person’s actions will always lead back to you. If the person is great, then you will be a star with your colleagues. But, if the person is lazy like your friend is, then your excellent reputation, that you have worked so hard to build may go down the drain. This may be unfair but consider that the person will probably be hired because you gave them a glowing recommendation.

  • The Organisation’s Culture

Organization's culture

A strong determinant of how well a person can fit into the company is the organisation’s culture. This forms the invisible glue that holds people together in the company and the guiding principle of how things work. Can the person fit into the organisation’s leadership style and working culture? Can the person get along well with the people they will be working with? Does the person know how to handle conflict well?

All these factors make or break a person’s ability to work well in the organisation and grow. The person may be a great friend on a night out, they might even be the life of the party but they just can’t handle the pressure that comes with the working environment in the company they want to get into.

  • Can You Work With The Person You Are Recommending?

Working relationships

A lot of times, you may have a good relationship with a person purely because your interactions are not based on serious issues. But, if you know you can’t work well with a person, then there is no need of recommending them. Those same reasons that make it hard for you to work with them may be the same ones that make it hard for the person to hold down a job.

If the person is coming to a company where you work, ask yourself whether that person’s presence will distract you or make you more productive. How will your office relationship be? Are there projects you might have to handle together? All these are important factors to consider as the ability to work well or not with a person can affect your output and reputation.

  • Does The Person Fit The Profile Of What The Company Is Looking For?

Personal profile

The person may be nice and gets along with everyone but does he/she have the skills, qualifications and experience required for the job? Can the person handle the pressure and responsibilities that come with the position? These are important factors to consider before giving that glowing recommendation that stands between the person and the job.

It is not enough to want or like the job. A person should also have the character, skills and competencies that the job requires. Before doing a great job recommendation for a person, ensure that they fit the profile required for the job. It is good to save everyone’s time by ensuring that the person closely matches the profile of the ideal candidate.

  • Would You Recommend Anyone To That Organisation?

Job recommendation

It is no secret that some organisations are not friendly. It might be the policies or the style of management or even the culture. Whatever the case, you probably do not like a particular aspect of the company and if you could, you would change a few things or exit the company altogether.  Or you were there and exited.

If you would not ordinarily recommend a client to an organisation, then it is totally misadvised to make a job recommendation for a person in that company. Instead, sit the person down and let them know why you think the organisation is not good for them.

  • If The Company Was Yours, Would You Hire The Person?


When recommending a person, make sure that this is a person you would hire if the company was yours. Many people tend not to have an attachment with the companies they work for and would, therefore, do things differently if the companies were their own. But, before recommending someone for a job, ensure that this is a person you would hire because you might just be putting your reputation on the line.

Before recommending someone for a job…

It is important to consider the person’s employment history, their work ethic, their skills and competencies, the company’s culture, whether you can work with the person and if you would consider hiring the person for your own company. It is important to ensure that this is a person that will not ruin your reputation and can be counted on. Job recommendation works like a product endorsement, before endorsing a product, you must trust it.

Mueke Katwa
Notification Bell