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Statistics reveal that a majority of job seekers find employment through referrals. This is great news for job seekers. And, on the surface, sounds great for employers too.

Yet, a referred candidate does not always mean that the candidate is a good fit for the job or your company’s culture. Referrals are introduced to us like this . . . “He’s a great guy.” “She is a wonderful person.”

Do employers really hire people just because a person is nice? Well, actually they do. People like to hire likable people. Likeable is great. But the real question is, “Can they do the job great?”

Regardless of the source of the applicant, thorough evaluation is the best way to hire talent. You may think you are getting a deal if you pay nothing to find a new employee. But penny wise and pound-foolish may result if you don’t conduct the proper due diligence on each person you hire, regardless of the source. Maybe even more so for referrals as we tend to get soft about the interview process with friends of friends.

Consider using a third-party interviewer to evaluate referred candidates to ensure that you have done your homework before hiring. And, don’t bypass the reference and background checks. Best to know up front if there is an issue that could affect performance, rather than to fire a friend of a friend.

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