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I have a few opportunities to refer someone to my current employer. I know them personally, but can't speak to them professionally. If they don't work out as candidates, will this reflect poorly on me?

This is for a large company where I doubt I would be more than a field in a form of a candidate tracker, but one aspect of this is small vs. medium vs. large company. And this is a referral, not a reference. Obviously, I wouldn't give a professional reference for someone I don't know professionally, and a reference for someone who doesn't would out could definitely reflect poorly on me, depending on the circumstances.

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    Disagree with closing this as primarily opinion based. It is a fairly standard type situation, and best useful applicable best practices exist, as indicated by the answers. – Magisch Nov 25 '19 at 13:20
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I have a few opportunities to refer someone to my current employer. I know them personally, but can't speak to them professionally. If they don't work out as candidates, will this reflect poorly on me?

No, as long as you make it clear that you only know them personally, but cannot vouch for them professionally.

This happens all the time with companies that pay referral bonuses.

Many people apply for a given position, but only one gets accepted. Nobody blames whoever referred the ones that don't make it.

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Referring someone is different from hiring someone. In referring someone, in the context I surmise from your question, the organization acknowledges that you are not necessarily privy to all the intricacies and needs of that open role. You merely recognize that someone you know may be a potential match. It is not your responsibility to vet that person--that is the responsibility of the hiring team.

It can be surprisingly difficult to find interested candidates. From the point of view of hiring teams, every little bit helps. Feel confident in referring your contact, and if you wish, provide your organization with some context, e.g. "Although I don't know him in a professional context, I have spent time with him doing X. His background seems to be a match for the role, thus I thought I'd make the referral."

Also, if you get a referral bonus, collect it free of guilt.

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You are just referring someone, the company still has their hiring process. So there's still the same evaluation, if the candidate is a good fit. The advantage for the company is that they get willing candidates for less money than with a recruiter etc.

My company has a referral program, which is more or less "send your friend an email with a link to the job ad". My company asks in the web form, how you know the candidate (friend, former coworker, family, etc.) and optionally you can add reasons why you think the candidate would be a good fit.

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