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We have an open position on the company I work in, in one of our meetings our manager asked us to refer people we think they would be a good fit for the team, so I called one of my friends, he is a very capable person and a very good asset on his company, when he started the process he was being underpaid.

So after I referred him to HR they called him for an interview and ask him about his salary expectations, they company was ok with it and after a long selection process they told him they will give him an offer, by the time they told him this, he already got a raise in his company ( a very good one) and told the HR recruiter that his expectations changed, the recruiter said that they had a pre - established budget for the position but they would still throw an offer so my friend could analyze it, they asked him for a copy of his payroll to validate the data and told them the would be calling him soon with the offer.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since that happened and they haven’t go back to him, he already sent them a polite email asking for an update but he hasn’t got a reply yet, he is asking me to talk to my boss to find out what happened but I’m not sure if this would have a good outcome, in your experience… should I get involved by talking to either HR or my boss or should I left things flow?

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they asked him for a copy of his payroll to validate the data That's a first. Not sure I would want to deal with this HR department. –  JeffO Oct 25 '12 at 17:22
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@JeffO as a cultural reference this is a very common practice in my country –  user1544 Oct 25 '12 at 17:28
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@AdamV They can ask, but they usually can't verify - in the USA it's entirely unheard of to actually give a potential employer a payroll stub from your previous employer, and your previous employer would certainly not divulge that information if asked. It's really just a mechanized way of getting you to say a number first. –  Tacroy Oct 29 '12 at 23:44

4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I'm in Canada where I'd be tempted to ask my boss, "Hey, remember that guy I suggested? What happened there?" as a casual question to get the answer that depending on a few other things would determine what I would pass back to the friend. The key here isn't trying to get anything done other than simply asking, "What is going on there?" as you are concerned about your friend. At least that is how I'd approach it.


While I have had some bosses that weren't nice, to my mind this would still be part of the basics of what I'd expect within a workplace. If I felt that I couldn't ask this question, I'd be highly tempted to consult with an attorney and see if I have a "hostile workplace" and consider legal options as the question should be OK to my mind. Course, YMMV so do beware of what culture and customs may apply elsewhere.

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@GregMcNulty terrible bosses are country-agnostic! –  MrFox Nov 2 '12 at 19:36

You can start coming off as too pushy and with a personal motive of trying to get your friend in.

You did your job and beyond, they told him they would give an offer!

Leave the rest up to them, it is basically all negotiation from here and what they discuss is none of your business.

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I agree with Greg. Just "Let things flow" as you suggested. –  Craig Nicholson Oct 25 '12 at 22:30

I would strongly suggest letting things flow.

I have been "the boss" in this senario, with my direct reports asking questions about the interview and recruitment processes on behalf of their friends, and in one case, their partner.

To me this is crossing a professional/personal boundary.

Just because you have a relationship with the applicant, it doesn't mean that you have any more right to interfere or question the company process than you would with any other potential employee.

There could be all sorts of issues, from your boss having a large-scale budget fight over the appointment, to a problem with a reference or background check, which they are not going to share with you on a privacy basis.

If you have team meetingss when recruitment is a topic, I'd suggest making a general comment asking how things are progressing, but your manager and HR would probably take a dim view of direct involvement.

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Protect your personal reputation, but do not act as a go between.

You can gently ask the hiring manager and/or HR what has happened. This would help if the communication chain has fallen into a black hole - missed messages, lost emails, or simply forgotten final steps. Today's communication can be very unpredictable and it never hurts to see if that's what happened. After all, the guy is a friend, he thought your recommendation was good, it's not OK that your company seems to be behaving rudely by not getting back to him. It's a win/win - no matter what the company sends back, the fact that they are timely in communications is a facet of both their reputation and yours that can only be improved by a small "hey, did you contact my friend?" question.

Do, however, avoid playing any part as the messenger of the exchange - no matter what the company has decided in terms of finishing the offer process, avoid being the person delivering the message, arguing for the candidate, or otherwise contributing to this process. If you help out here, your objectives are mixed and you risk both your friend and your company misunderstanding your motives. They have certainly reached the point in the negotiation where tension could be high, being very low key in asking any question is a good goal.

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