I started at a great company a few months ago as a DevOps Engineer. I know everyone likes me and I should pass their introductory period shortly.

When I started, I was reading a DevOps book at a coffee shop, I caught the attention of a gentleman that is interested in the field. He asked me plenty of questions about the field and what to study for to get in the field and I was happy to answer.

I know my company is hiring for a SysAdmin role and I'm willing to let this guy know. He just recently passed one of the CompTIA Linux certifications. But I don't know how much experience he has nor the depth of his knowledge (but he is very ambitious). I'd like to give him a chance but I don't know the best approach and I don't want to raise his hopes up if he doesnt get the opportunity. What would be a good way to notify him and try and get a grasp to what kind of experience he may have?


What would be a good way to notify him and try and get a grasp to what kind of experience he may have?

Just tell him that your company is hiring for a SysAdmin role, give him the link to the job description and encourage him to check it out and see if he is qualified and to apply if he chooses.

If you like, you can tell him to use your name as a referral (not as a reference). This could be particularly good for you if your company offers referral bonuses.

No need to dig into his experience. No need to make any promises. You are just being nice to someone you met and pointing out something that he could find on his own.

  • Not sure I'd refer anyone who has just passed a fairly entry level cert, especially a Linux one for a sysadmin role. Particularly if I just met them. – Kilisi Apr 18 '17 at 0:02
  • Ok, I'm not very helpful or trusting to strangers unless I see a personal advantage...or they are in physical trouble I can assist with.... probably not a great attitude to have.... rough youth :) – Kilisi Apr 18 '17 at 0:25
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    @Kilisi: And yet here you are devoting hours and hours to helping us. – A. I. Breveleri Apr 18 '17 at 3:35
  • @A.I.Breveleri yep, ironic isn't it. I like helping people in certain ways, but not others. With this though it's paybacks for me, I help on workplace, and I take on SO... so it's personal advantage. – Kilisi Apr 18 '17 at 4:19
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    @Kilisi This is where the difference between a referral and a reference is important. I'll give a random stranger a referral, but I may not give my close friend a reference if I don't know their skillset. – David K Apr 18 '17 at 12:15

There is a difference between telling somebody you barely know about a job opening and recommending them for the position.

If you knew them well you could recommend them, but in that case you are giving their application a bump because you are vouching or their skills/experience.

Telling somebody you barely know is not much different than telling a young adult in your neighborhood, that you haven't talked to in 5 years, that your company has an opening. You know very little about their applicable skills but you want to give them help in finding a job.

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