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I joined a new company a few days ago and I am really enjoying it. My close friend is looking for internships and my company has applications open for internships. I think he would be a great fit. Usually I would give a recommendation within the company, however since I am so new I am unsure if that is the right way to go. Recommendations usually have weight due to the credibility of the person, however since I am new I do not have yet that credibility.

Should I still go ahead and recommend him within the company or just let him apply standardly?

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    @JoeStrazzere Yes, we studied at University together and our knowledge is very similar. We've been basically preparing and applying together for jobs, so that's how I know he would be a good fit. I can say with certainty that in this case us two working together would make the whole greater than the sum of its parts (i.e. 1+1=3) – MilTom Oct 1 '20 at 12:34
  • Generally if someone is applying for a job then they provide references. Your friend should absolutely use you as a reference. The hiring manager will decide whether your word has any clout. Just make sure you are putting in a good word because they are a good fit for a position/company and not simply because they are your friend. Cronyism is reserved for top positions. – MonkeyZeus Oct 2 '20 at 14:02
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Being new yourself is not at all a reason to not recommend your friends or former colleagues, especially if you know that they are good specialists with good behavior.

Your manager might not trust your judgment as much as he would trust the judgment of other colleagues, but a good manager would not skip a good chance to hire a good specialist.

You have to be careful though. If you recommend somebody who is not a good specialist, or if they have a less-than-good behavior, it might reflect back negatively on yourself.

Other than that, go ahead and good luck ;)

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    We basically studied the same course and have been preparing for this kind of work for the past year or two (its a mathematical kind of job). I can say with certainty that in this case us two working together would make the whole greater than the sum of its parts (i.e. 1+1=3) – MilTom Oct 1 '20 at 12:38
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    I tried recommending my friend once, I even helped him go through some question, since last time I know him he is capable when he puts his mind on it. Day of the interview, I interviewed him, gave the similar question, still bombed it, I feel embarrassed and told I'm sorry to my manager. Thankfully it does not affect me badly. – encryptoferia Oct 2 '20 at 1:04
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    @MilTom: only you can judge if your colleague / friend is worth recommending. Unless it hurts me directly, I will accept any statement you make :) – virolino Oct 2 '20 at 5:08
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    @encryptoferia: things happen. Sometimes good, sometimes less good. That is life. – virolino Oct 2 '20 at 5:09
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    @encryptoferia Don't feel embarrassed! Good managers know that recommendations are not endorsements. He went trough the interview process and failed, that's life! Your manager is probably glad you chose to refer a friend to the company, since this shows that you like your job enough to refer friends to it! – user119561 Oct 3 '20 at 20:34
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Should I still go ahead and recommend him within the company or just let him apply standardly?

Yes, you should go ahead and recommend him.

While you don't have any track history within the company, you did get hired. The company thought enough of you that they feel you fit the role you were hired to perform. That gives your opinion some weight, if not a lot.

If you know your friend's work abilities, and know that it fits the requirements of the internship, you can point them out.

If you only know him as a friend, then your recommendation should be tempered with that point.

Either way, you have identified an internship candidate, and should let the company know.

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Go ahead and recommend / refer.

Recommendations usually have weight due to the credibility of the person

I think the only time it has it's own weight is when they're trying a tie-breaker between two applicants. Other than that, in my experience, providing a reference is just a means to connect people for further process.

In any standard organization, whether an applicant is referred by an employee or found by a job post response - everybody has to follow the same process for getting hired. Maybe if they find more than one suitable candidate then the referral candidate may have some edge because someone is already vouching for them, but otherwise, it's all the same.

I have seen organisations where they ask for connections to be recommended as soon as a week within the joining and it's part of the onboarding process.

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    I disagree. While a recommendation might help little during the interview process, it can help get (mediocre) CVs past the first round of reviews. – raznagul Oct 2 '20 at 7:09
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Just tell your friend where and how to apply and any insights you have that may help.

Otherwise there is no point being involved. It's potentially a benefit for your friend but of little if any value, but if he gets the job and goes off the rails for any reason your name is attached to that.

I know many people who were great students but didn't eventuate to have a good work ethic. Until you have worked with someone for an extended period and seen them under stress you really have no idea.

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    Exactly. If his friend is really a good fit, all he needs is some insider advice on what traits and skills the company is looking for. A good manager will surely reward a well-prepared candidate that made the most out of their time. – Ramon Melo Oct 3 '20 at 6:08
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Something to keep in mind is that companies really want to hire good people for the positions they are looking for fill—and it’s really hard to do that based off only what’s on paper and what can be gleaned in a few brief interviews. Obviously, that’s usually all they have and they’ve tried to get good at using those limited opportunities to make good decisions, but that kind of process—even some of the more absurd processes thrown together by some firms trying to be “selective”—are never going to give you the same kind of information you get from working with someone day in and day out. And ultimately, that’s the information they want, because they want this person to work day in and day out and be productive and get along with the team.

That’s where a personal recommendation can carry a lot of weight: it can confirm that what looks good on paper, what sounds good in an interview, actually works out well in practice. It means something if you say “I worked next to this person for X hours a week for Y years, and would happily work alongside them X′ hours per week for the next Y′ years.” It suggests that there aren’t any hidden pitfalls with the candidate, they aren’t going to be deadweight or impossible to work with.

Would it mean more if you had been there longer? Of course. But it certainly doesn’t mean nothing as things are. Really, it’s your experience with him—rather than your experience with the company—that matters most here. They already know the company, and thought you were a decent fit for the job. What they don’t know is him, and you do. And by putting your name (and thus, reputation) on it, that likely gives them a reasonable amount of confidence, so they don’t fully need to “trust” you—the potential harm to your own career should be enough to keep you “honest” and they know it. (Quotes used because it’s not really a question of trust so much as confidence, but I’m not thinking of a better way to articulate things.)

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Adding to the other answers: You can recommend him, but since "your word" doesn't yet have that much weight, be sure to provide a reason for the recommendation. "You are looking for a xxx. I know somewhone who I studied with, and it seems to me that he is quite good at xxx. His name is xxx. Should I ask him to send his CV?"

That way

  1. Your own reputation is not needed, as you let facts speak.
  2. In case he turns out to be no good match, it has less drawbacks for you, as you did not personally voucher for him but rather for your remembrance of his skillset... if that makes any sense the way I put it.

Needless to say, ask your friend first if he is interested at all.

On a final note, depending on the "formal distance" between you and the HR folks, I would rather send a formal mail instead of ambushing them at the coffee maker.

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You can "recommend" him if you want - however, as a hiring manager if a new employee came to me and said "my friend would be a great fit", I'd pretty much ignore that when it came to any hiring decisions. With all due respect, if you've only been there a few days, you don't know the culture yet so there's no way you can actually be saying whether someone else would be a good fit or not.

That all said, there's no real harm in recommending him so you may as well do so.

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  • I think you're misinterpreting my answer. I'm in no way saying I wouldn't hire the friend, just I wouldn't give much weight to the recommendation from a new member of staff, particularly when they're talking about "culture" and "fit". It's not really any different from your answer "Your manager might not trust your judgment as much as he would trust the judgment of other colleagues". – Philip Kendall Oct 1 '20 at 11:15
  • I think you're misinterpreting my comment. I did not mention anything about hiring, even remotely. Also, if you did not mean what you wrote, then maybe you should change your answer. – virolino Oct 1 '20 at 11:22
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    Honestly, I don't understand these downvotes. He knows so little about the company he doesn't even know how to approach the manager and make a proper recommendation. I'd go as far as raising a reasonable doubt about whether he's a good fit himself, given how little time he's spent among his co-workers. It doesn't paint him as any less competent or keen for his job, it's perfectly fine for a new hire to take more than just "a few days" to grasp the company's culture. – Ramon Melo Oct 3 '20 at 5:53

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