8

I vouched for a close friend of mine to get a job at my current workplace. 2 weeks in and I've noticed some weird behavior.

  • He has missed some important meetings
  • He has lied (twice) about a personal emergency to get out of the office
  • On a typical day he just seems to disappear from the office for 4 or 5 hours
  • He sometimes states that he is working from home but no work is getting done.

I strongly suspect that he did not actually quit his former job which was a bit relaxed and allowed him to work from home most of the time. So he could be disappearing to deal with other commitments at his previous job.

I have realized that I made a terrible mistake vouching for him especially since he is my friend. We had worked together for several years in a previous company and technically he is very good. I feel like he has made a fool of me, betrayed my trust in him and is not taking the job seriously.

We report to the same manager and they are aware that he is my friend and that we had worked together before. I feel that when my manager realizes this coworker is unreliable, my reputation will be tainted.

How should I handle this? Should I confront him and ask him to resign if it turns out that he had not quit his former job?

This issue has really angered me to a point where ending the friendship is an option because it feels like he took my job as a joke and is risking my reputation at work.

  • 16
    Have you considered talking to your friend directly, and asking, basically, "what is going on with? you are acting very odd and it is very noticeable" and see what they say? If they are aware of their behavior, you make it clear that because you went out on a limb their behavior reflects on you, and they just don't care - that suddenly makes your next steps far more clear and you can approach your boss with a clean conscience. – BrianH May 30 at 22:49
  • 5
    As a future tip, do not recommend hiring a friend. Just tell your manager what you know about them: "I worked with X from A to B. He was a reliable worker, proficient in Y.". That is, state facts as you know them. It is not your fault if he has changed his work habits since then. – Patricia Shanahan May 30 at 23:22
  • Is your friend aware that you recommended him? – P. Hopkinson May 30 at 23:26
  • 1
    Maybe the manager is totally aware of his absences and okay with it - maybe the friend needed to provide a certain amount of support to his old firm after he left, and got his manager's permission. – dan.m was user2321368 May 31 at 13:39
  • 1
    Do you sincerely believe he'd be willing to resign just from you asking him to? – Dukeling May 31 at 17:14
11

To answer your title question directly. No, you should not.

Why? Because well, it doesn't matter. If the person is willing to be a flake at work from the get go, the person didn't care about you, or your rep. to begin with. Confronting this person and telling them to resign is only going to make the relationship between you two worse.

Do you honestly think someone who is willing to 'cheat' at work, is going to listen to your suggestion to quit, just because you're angry at them?

And really to be honest, there may be some things going on behind the scenes you may not be aware of...perhaps a boss is aware of it, and is allowing it. I find it incredible that no-one else seems to notice a new hire is never at work within their first two weeks on the job and they don't get their assignments done and have no repercussions...

At most depending on your relationship with the higher ups in your company, or rather the person who you recommended your friend to, I would suggest talking to them about the situation (as you explained in the post) and simply mention that you made a mistake, in turns out friends change, and yours changed for the worse and let them deal with it.

My suspicion is this person realised a loop in both his old company and new, and is taking mega advantage of it. (and well, why not?)

My other suggestion, is just stop caring so much about something so trivial as your work reputation. Nothing of actual value is actually on the line here. You should just talk to your friend, and say whats on your mind. Throwing away person connections with someone is silly in my opinion when it can be easily dealt with by talking. Especially over work.

No-one'll ask for your opinion about a new hire for a while maybe. As long as your work ethic and quality hasn't changed. Eventually people will forget your suggestion and your friend will get fired.

People like them are generally self correcting problems. Just let it take it's course :)

  • 7
    "Do you honestly think someone who is willing to 'cheat' at work, is going to listen to your suggestion to quit, just because you're angry at them?" -- Some people feel not guilt cheating the system/companies, but would feel gulit being called out by a friend. – さりげない告白 May 31 at 0:29
  • 10
    "stop caring so much about something so trivial as your work reputation. Nothing of actual value is actually on the line here." Really? I value my work reputation very highly. It's worth tens of thousands of currency units a year to me. – BittermanAndy May 31 at 11:10
  • It shouldn’t have to be said, but this quite contextual, i’ll admit. Your tens of thousands worth of reputation doesn’t depend on giving job recommendations, does it? If it does, then it may not be so trivial. – morbo May 31 at 11:14
  • 1
    @morbo I want anyone who asks a former employer/colleague about me to hear "he was great! Hire him! We wish we could get him back!" not "well, he was quite good, but there was X, Y, and Z that happened..." (for whatever those things are, which might include hiring recommendations). That could be the difference between hire and no hire, or hire at £X and hire at £X+£Y. Easily a difference of tens of thousands a year, potentially, and all based on work reputation. – BittermanAndy May 31 at 11:41
  • 2
    "I would suggest talking to them about the situation (as you explained in the post) and simply mention that you made a mistake, in turns out friends change, and yours changed for the worse and let them deal with it." I like this answer but really disagree with this quote. It is a manager's job to deal with the problem - if the manager comes and asks the OP why he recommended the problem employee, that's one thing. But to proactively reach out provides just about no upside - if the absences are approved, he'll only hurt his relationship with his friend. – dan.m was user2321368 May 31 at 13:44
8

From the situation as described, it is very definitely worth talking to him about what's going on. The sooner the better - because if it's happened as described, he's about to get fired. Nobody can spend four or five hours of a typical day out of the office, out of their first two weeks in a new job, plus the other things you mention, without someone noticing.

What happens next depends on that conversation and what his answers are. (Perhaps he's already agreed this with your boss ahead of time, and you just didn't know about it?). Depending on that conversation, yes, it may be reasonable to point out to him that you put your credibility on the line for him, and that if he is not prepared to take the job seriously, he should leave it.

This is likely to be a difficult conversation if it gets that far. I don't know how close this friend is, but if it reaches that point, I would suggest he is not much of a friend to you at all. At that stage I would be more concerned about your professional relationship with your manager.

4

Should I ask my friend to resign from a job a vouched for him?

No.

While you did vouch for your friend, your friend did have to possess the required skills/experience for his role and he likely interviewed successfully for his position. In most cases, the steps your friend took were a much greater contribution towards landing the job than your recommendation to your manager. You are not responsible for the fact that your friend has decided to behave the way he is currently behaving nor are you directly responsible for his hiring.

Regarding your reputation being tainted because of your friend's behavior, I would not worry. As long as you are acting professionally and completing all of your assigned tasks within their deadlines you should have no issue.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.