What should you do when a friend calls and says, “Can you give my kid a job with your company?” Or it could be the caller’s spouse or best friend . . . you have had calls like that, haven’t you?

The first issue is whether you actually have a vacant job that you are trying to fill. If you don’t, your job is easier – you can simply ask for a resume that you will keep on file.

If you are hiring, on the other hand, the issue becomes thornier. If you start to staff up your company with people who were hired through favoritism or nepotism, word will get around. As a result, the overall image of your company could suffer. And the morale of employees who got their jobs by applying “from the outside” can suffer more seriously than you might expect.

You don’t want to be a company that is known to practice favoritism in hiring. So, how do you handle the problem of favored hiring? As a company leader, you should think about the issue and decide what you will do. We can’t tell you. However, here are some considerations.

Maybe You Shouldn’t Do It at All

You do have the option of saying, “Our policy is that all job-seekers apply for jobs through the same process.” And then, tell your caller where you post your jobs. If you decide not to follow that path, however, consider the following recommendations.

Make Sure Referred Applicants Go through the Same Serious Hiring Process as All Other Applicants

If you decide to permit referred applicants to apply for jobs, let them follow the same steps as all other applicants, by applying through your company job board, or by applying using your job platform. Let your HR team review their applications and decide whether or not to hire them, using the same criteria they apply to all other applicants.  After all, your goal is to staff your company with strong people who are capable of doing their jobs; if you don’t do that, you will not be doing anyone a favor.

Lessons from the Recent College Application Scandal

We are writing today’s post only a week after the world of American higher education was rocked by a scandal in which parents paid bribes and engaged in other illegal scams to get their children admitted to elite colleges. The presence of those students on campus, if they are underqualified, can only erode the educational experience for all the other students who worked hard to get into those schools. The presence of underqualified, preferred employees in your organization can have the same effect.

But it is easy to prevent that problem from happening. If your company is an elite place to work, only the best employees need apply.



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