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Yes, I have been in a company where people were hired on the basis of
knowing a certain vice president or a certain marketing director. Our
managers were so bad that they hired people who had never turned in a
resume. The new hires were consistently useless employees, sometimes even
"bad people," and some had to be fired after a major outcry from other
employees. It is a sad and embarrassing (for the company) practice, but you
are probably not going to be able to do anything about it. The managers at
that company never learned from any of it. They still hire that way, because
they are still awful managers.
At least I can say I've learned by watching them. I've learned to have a
strict rule against that sort of thing in my department, no matter what!
Unfortunately, when we hire people the whole person comes to work, and even
if someone is a great writer, I'm not going to take a chance on hiring a
friend or a friend's friend only to have it turn sour. I've worked for other
companies that ask up front whether an interviewee knows or is related to
anyone at the company. I think they learned the hard way, too.
> The coordinator for our tech pubs team is considering hiring a friend of a
> friend. She asked her friend to send a couple of writing samples, which
> then forwarded to the rest of us for review. The first sample is a college
> essay discussing lesbianism in China; the second, an apologia for the
> of Islam. My problem with these samples is not their political content,
> their complete irrelevance to tech writing. However, our coordinator is
> seriously considering hiring the writer, who would have to relocate from
> to Sunnyvale, CA.
> I have no question for all of you, just a silent scream. Well, perhaps one
> question: have any of you faced something similar?