I am currently an employee in the client services department of an extremely selective financial institution. I graduated college recently and just started my full-time role a month ago.
Today, a friend of mine from college asked me to make a referral on his behalf to recruiting for a software developer job at the said institution. He studied computer science in school, has internship experience in software, and did research. I believe him to be a pretty smart person. But I told him it wouldn't be a good idea for me to make a referral. Am I a bad employee / friend for doing so?
Here's my rationale: I did not study computer science and have no software experience (I studied English). I can't vouch for his technical skills objectively (I can subjectively say, as his friend, that he's competent). I am also a very junior employee in a completely different department; my voice likely does not have much sway in hiring decisions. And, while I like this friend, I know he has some personal idiosyncrasies / oddities that may be a poor fit for this work environment. (He may be better suited for an actual tech company.) In general, I am unsure about sticking my neck out for people I care about but whose professional qualifications I know nothing about; I feel uncomfortable referring people on purely personal connections alone.