What To Do When You Regret Referring A Friend For A Job

There has probably been a time or two when you ended up encouraging a friend to apply for a job at your company. Out of the kindness of your heart, you passed along resume after resume trying to help. But have you ever regretted referring a friend for a job? Today, career experts J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten share their advice on dealing with a referral you regret...


Dear J.T. and Dale,

I encouraged my friend – let’s call her “Tina” -- to apply for a job at my company. She did, and then started emailing me every other day asking if I'd heard anything.

I went to HR to check. They said Tina wasn't qualified. Now, I have to go back to her. She's going as me a million questions. I regret ever starting.

- Blake

What should you do in this situation? Is there an easy way out? First, let’s understand where your friend is coming from at this point in his or her career. In most cases, he or she probably lost a job and is in a tough situation. Even though the opportunity didn’t work out at your company, there’s no reason to regret trying to help her out. “You never, never regret helping a friend, particularly in a time of need,” said Dauten. “.... This is a time to help the friend and put up with the annoying inquiries.” When it comes to your friend not getting the job, think about it this way. You offered to help her get introduced, which is extremely generous. However, it’s not up to you to get the job for her. You can’t do that. It’s up to her to get the job on her own. You did everything you could. You got the information, you passed it along, you even went down to HR and got an update. “What I would do is go back to Tina and be really honest,” said O’Donnell. “Say, ‘Here’s the situation. Here’s the feedback I got from HR. I have no other information. They didn’t disclose why you weren’t qualified. I can’t get you that information. There’s nothing else I can do.’” In the future, set some ground rules for yourself. Give the people you’re trying to help some expectations. Make it clear that you can only pass along the information and that there’s nothing else you can really do to help them move forward. Tell them that you’re more than happy to help them out but it’s up to them to pursue the opportunity after you’ve done your part. Referring a friend for a job doesn't have to create an awkward or annoying situation. When you set these expectations up front, it lowers the chance of your friends pestering you each day asking for an update you can’t give them. Want to ask J.T. & Dale a question? Email your question to advice@jtanddale.com.

Related Posts:

Should I Rat Out A Co-Worker? What School Forgot To Teach You About Job Search The Terrible Job Search Advice You Are Getting By Accident  

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less