I have recently joined a large company and my brother is asking me to refer him to one of the jobs that are listed. However, it is barely 2 weeks since I joined and also the job posting requires 3-7 years of experience. My brother has 3 years of experience in a related but not exact area. My employers have already taken a lot of trouble to get me onboard in terms of my Visa and other stuff. I am just concerned that he does not exactly have the required experience and that I will come off badly if I refer him since I myself have started so recently.

Will referring him at this point of time cause a loss of my credibility or any other issues?

  • 2
    if your brother is a good worker, why is he unemployed?
    – Kilisi
    Feb 9, 2018 at 2:25
  • 12
    @Kilisi, first, I didn't see where he said the brother was unemployed. Second, the presumption that being unemployed makes someone a bad worker is invalid. The company could have failed, he could have been a bad fit, he could have taken a year off to travel, he could have been sick, the market could be bad for his professional specialty. There are thousands of reasons to be unemployed. Automatically discounting unemployed people in hiring is a terrible practice.
    – HLGEM
    Feb 9, 2018 at 15:08
  • I don't think there aren't any rules here. I referred my brother to an ex-employer after 3 years of working there. I've also just referred a friend to my current company, and I'd been here for less than a fortnight. Whether your brother is successful or not, I don't think there's any risk of losing your credibility.
    – dvniel
    Feb 9, 2018 at 15:57
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Is it okay to recommend a friend as a recently hired employee?
    – David K
    Feb 9, 2018 at 16:43
  • You need those three things : 1: He's a good fit for the position. 2: He's a good worker in general. 3: You are already trusted by your manager. Otherwise, don't even try. I've recommended a former (engineering school) classmate after 3-4 months in the company. He got hired and is doing a great job. I would never have done that if I wasn't sure he would be a good fit.
    – Tim
    Feb 12, 2018 at 13:23

5 Answers 5


Will referring him at this point of time cause a loss of my credibility or any other issues?

I think that the only way one's credibility can be harmed is if you refer a candidate that turns to be problematic, or that had really fewer experience than the way you portrayed it (and somehow managed to get hired before the lack of skill becomes evident).

Seems like your brother has decent/some experience in the subject, so even though there probably are better candidates it is not like you are referring someone who has no clue.

Now, the situation you have here I consider is a bit different than the way you are focusing it. I believe that given you only have 2 weeks working there probably any referral or recommendation you give now will not be regarded as highly as the ones of senior or more experienced coworkers.

It's not that your referrals or your brother are unskilled or poor choices, it's just that you are still new in the company, and saying "Hey would you hire my brother?" two weeks after joining them may not be taken too seriously (perhaps it could even give a bad impression).

Bottom line, unless your brother is a really good candidate referring him now may be ineffective or worst case harm your credibility a bit, so I suggest you don't.

Edit: So, if we consider that other question you commented:

How long should one be working before referring someone (generally speaking)?

There is no unique answer for this.

If you refer someone is because you think they may fit well in your company. Now, with only two weeks under your belt, I really doubt you know the company the point to be able to say if someone is a good fit for it.

You may know your brother and his skills well, but you are still lacking knowledge on the company and its specific processes and details to really know what person may be a good fit there. With time you will start to know better your way in your new job, and when you reach that point you will be better prepared to refer people.

  • Yeah, you are right @DarkCygnus the fact that I started very recently is also one of my concerns although I was not able to pinpoint to that. He has good experience and had good reviews at the places he worked. How long should one be working before referring someone (generally speaking)?
    – ntd
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:04
  • @ntd there is no unique answer to that question, it's not like after a X month threshold you can refer people. But surely not when you are 2 weeks in the job. Personally I consider someone has adapted in a good degree to a company after aprox 6 months... but don't take that as the threshold, also depends on the candidate. But for me if I were in this situation I'd wait the 6 months before referring anyone; before 6 months not even you will have a complete notion of that company, so you can't really know if a candidate would be a good fit.
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:07
  • makes sense. Thank you. This was affecting me a lot as I was feeling bad about myself that I could not even do this for my own brother. But I do understand that there is nothing I can do now without it affecting me negatively.
    – ntd
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:11
  • @ntd Glad I could help. Enhanced my question based on what we commented here. Also, don't feel bad, surely there are other jobs your brother can apply without compromising your job :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:14

It depends on the company, and it depends on how you do it.

Companies that are actively trying to hire very quickly will be happy to get anything that looks like a reasonable referral from anyone. Companies that are being slower and more judicious will be a lot less interested.

More to the point, though, your credibility isn't about who you recommend, it's about what you tell them. You probably haven't been there long enough to develop the credibility necessary for them to give your recommendation all that much weight by itself, but HR reps rarely dislike getting might-fit resumes. If you state up front about the fact that he's your brother, and you explain honestly what you know of his advantages and disadvantages for the position, it's not likely to come back and bite you. It's only if you try to vouch for him and/or play him up as something that he's not that you're likely to get into trouble.

Of course, your brother is a bit on the marginal side. Presenting him honestly means that they might decide that he's not worth it, but you'll be able to honestly tell him that you passed his resume along to them, and it's unlikely to come back to bite you.

Admittedly, it's still possible that this would backfire, but that would be a case of running afoul of office politics rather than losing credibility because you actually did something that you deserved to lose credibility for. The danger level on that side of things is highly company-dependent, and would probably call for a separate question of you can't figure it out yourself.


You can refer someone even before you are hired, and this would not of itself negatively impact your credibility.

Mainly because you have none.

Your credibility is only going to be affected when you either PUSH for your referee or your referee turns out to be a dud. Pushing would be your continueing to bring up the referee after he has been eliminated for some reason or before a decision has been made.

Refering is typically limited to vouching: I know this person, their work/work ethic is good, they would be a good fit for the culture, their skills/experience fit our job requirements.

It can go beyond that, all the way to "send an offer letter now". But obviously this will be related to your position and seniority within the company.

Pushing a reference without seniority will most likely damage your reputation UNLESS there is a ongoing problem filling the position and you are responding to a complaint. At best you are putting your judgement above their process, at worst you are trying to subvert the process in order to hire an incompetent.


You don't really have any credibility at this point - you're too new. If your company has a referral program, where you submit their resume (or they submit their resume and your name), it probably won't hurt. But it probably won't help either. If it's more of a word of mouth sort of referral, it would be more helpful after you've worked there long enough for others to know to trust your judgement.

When referring, the type of person you refer does reflect on you. So if you know someone is not a good choice, and you refer them anyway, that can make you look bad.

  • Ya that was also one of my main concerns. Its not that he is a bad candidate or anything but just that I am new and his experience is somewhat not in line. @thursdaysgeek how long do you think before I can actually recommend someone to jobs?
    – ntd
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:08

Another thing you should consider is that nepotism is considered to be bad (for what I think are valid reasons, having seen the negative effects in several companies). Many companies forbid it. So you need to check the company rules before you consider recommending your brother no matter what.

And honestly, why do you want to work with your brother? What happens when you have a professional disagreement with him and it bleeds over into home or when you have a home problem with him and it bleeds over into work

  • This doesn't seem to be a full answer to the question.
    – Erik
    Feb 11, 2018 at 18:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .