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When a friend or acquaintance asks for a job referral, more often than not, we agree. For one, we want to help the next person get ahead — especially if they’re Black. In addition, many companies offer amazing monetary incentives for employee referrals. However, those of us who have lived a little bit know that referring a friend for a position at your current company can be risky business. If you’ve been asked for a referral by a friend or associate for such a favor and are wondering whether or not you should move forward with it, here are six questions you need to ask yourself before making a final decision.

Are they qualified?

Before you agree to anything, take a moment to glance over the internal job posting for the position and then check out their LinkedIn page. Do they have the qualifications, including the work experience and the credentials, required for the role? Missing one or two of the qualifications is one thing. However, if  they are significantly under-qualified, you might look questionable yourself for passing on a resume to your hiring manager.

Do they have a solid work ethic?

Any time you refer someone for a job, it’s reflective of you. If you have absolutely no idea the kind of work ethic possessed by your girl or if she’s known to have a particularly poor work ethic, you may want to think twice before referring her to your employer.

Would you mind having them as a co-worker?

People have different opinions on mixing business and friendship. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, the reality is that some relationships were only meant to exist in certain spaces. In the event that your friend gets the job, would you be okay with having them as a colleague?

Are they a good fit for the company culture?

Everything ain’t for everybody. Does he or she have a flexible personality type that will allow them to adapt to any environment or are they more rigid? Will they be able to fall in line with the company culture that has already been established or are they likely to create waves? On the other hand, is your company culture so toxic and unhealthy that you’d be doing them a disservice by referring them in the first place?

What would work be like if your friendship goes south?

While you may not be able to see it now, friends fall out all of the time. In the unfortunate event that you and your friend are no longer friends, do you both have the maturity to keep it cute and professional or will you resort to dragging your personal grievances into the workplace?

Will your credibility at work be damaged if they don’t meet expectations?

If your friend is hired, will you be made responsible for how things turn out? Will your credibility or reputation be damaged if they fail to meet expectations? If so, you may want to think long and hard about submitting that reference.

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