Re: "Urgent" Hiring Practices & lack of candidates

Subject: Re: "Urgent" Hiring Practices & lack of candidates
From: Beth Agnew <bagnew -at- INSYSTEMS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 14:31:07 -0400

Dick Margulis made some valid points in response to Bob Morrisette's mention
of a "bounty" or bonus paid to employees for referrals. Dick said in part:

> If advertising fails to turn up a qualified candidate and a company
> wants to reward an employee who then is able to recruit someone, that's
> great. But if this is the first-line strategy, the company may begin to
> take on the appearance of Suzie's congregation or Jim's fraternal lodge.
> Aside from the potential legal consequences, this sort of incestuous
> recruiting breeds a company where everyone thinks the same way and
> innovation is less likely to occur. Diversity is not just a buzzword and
> a liberal shibboleth; it is also a great way to keep a company's
> creative juices flowing.

Speaking from one of the most wonderful diversely-staffed companies I know,
we have found employee referrals to bring us a higher quality of candidate
than we can expect from regular advertising. We actively seek the best and
brightest, and knowing our corporate culture as they do, our current
employees "pre-screen" their acquaintances and former colleagues.

As another poster mentioned, all the difficult questions have already been
answered when someone is referred. Once they're hired, they tend to meet the
expectations for excellence that they feel have been set up. No one wants to
disappoint a friend.

I wouldn't personally recommend someone without being certain that they
could do the job AND that they'd be happy working here. It's very telling if
one is working at a company that you would not want to recommend to your

Although there is the risk of homogeneity, I think good hiring practices
applied on top of referrals will ensure that the job is right for the
employee, and vice versa. No one is hired here who doesn't fit the criteria,
no matter who their "friend" is.


Beth Agnew
Senior Technical Writer, InSystems Technologies Inc.
65 Allstate Parkway, Suite 100 Tel: (905) 513-1400 ext. 280
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 9X1 Fax: (905) 513-1419
mailto:bagnew -at- insystems -dot- com Visit us at:

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