update from the reader who recommended someone who lied to her

Remember the reader who recommended someone for a job with her former employer and soon found out the person had lied to get the job? She was planning to quit within months for grad school, something that would have prevented the company from hiring her if they’d known. The reader was concerned about how it would reflect on her for recommending the person. Here’s her update.

After I received your response, I told her that I was unhappy with how she’d handled the situation and she’d put me in a really awkward situation with my former employer. She went into complete denial and even when I asked her if she’d considered how her actions would impact my reputation she said, “It hadn’t occurred to me, actually,” and then told me I took my recommendations too seriously! I didn’t even bother to tell her I couldn’t provide assistance in the future because I was too shocked and angry to say anything after that. Hopefully she will know better than to ask for my help again!

Fortunately, things with my former employer turned out alright. They were annoyed that she quit, but didn’t blame me. As soon as they told me I immediately apologized and said I never would have recommended someone if I’d known they were planning to leave. So it could have been worse, but I’m pretty sure it will permanently affect my relationship with my former employer and they’re never going to trust me or my recommendations as much now. Also, I later found out that the girl had misled some of my other coworkers as well. With some, she didn’t tell them she was looking for another job and asked them to write recommendations for grad school, and with others she never mentioned she was going to school and asked for help with jobs. I haven’t gossiped, but we work in a very small field and word has definitely gotten around and I doubt she’ll ever get good references from either job.

So, there you have it. Not a great outcome, but your advice helped so much and prevented it from becoming a terrible situation for me. Thanks again for answering my question, and also for the great advice in your posts.

{ 17 comments… read them below }

  1. two times*

    Wow, you really need to back down on just how important your recommendation really was. I would bet your opinion counted for less than 5% of their decision to hire this person.

    1. Steve*

      I respectfully disagree with you. It is not the importance to the hire that is significant, it is the fact that when you make a recommendation it is your credibility that is at stake. It’s always a risk, but her friend was utterly unaware of how she squandered her friend’s reputation with this employer. It was not her reputation to waste.

    2. Really?*

      Its not how much of the decision that the recommendation is based on that matters.

      Its how it reflects on OP. If OP recommends someone who wastes time and is a flake then OP’s own standing could be affected if the employer is upset about it.

      If I recommend an investment firm to you and they run off with all your money will you consider recommendations and advice from me in the same light? If you believed I knew that they were going to do that their is a more than good chance you’d stop talking to me completely.

    3. Kimberlee, Esq.*

      Also, on the original post that Alison linked to, the first two sentences are “A colleague asked me to recommend her for a job with a company I used to work for. Based on my recommendation, she got the job.” So, reading helps.

    4. OP*

      Actually, she asked for my help very late in their hiring process and she wouldn’t have even gotten an interview without my recommendation. And if it was so meaningless, she shouldn’t have needed to use my reputation to get hired.

    5. Kimberly*

      I agree completely with the original poster. Her recommendation probably got her the job. In both of my jobs so far, a recommendation from me usually gave the applicant a job instead of more qualified individuals. They were both at fairly large companies with a big applicant pool.

      Exceptions are of course for jobs with exceptional high demand in companies like Intel and Google.

  2. Paul*

    This woman doesn’t seem to feel any shame about her actions. Her extreme lack of empathy and inability to accept fault almost seems sociopathic.

  3. ChristineH*

    Wow. That’s about all I can come up with on this one. I’m glad it turned out okay with your previous employer.

  4. Aaron*

    Looking back at the original post, it had a whole sub-topic about telling the employer their employee was about to leave. OP, did that work itself out, or did you have to force the employee to give notice/take some other action?

    PS thanks for the update?

    1. OP*

      I didn’t end up telling the employer. I considered it, but I couldn’t think of a way to do it that didn’t feel like tattling. She told them a few days after talking to me though, so I apologized profusely once the employer talked to me.

  5. Tami M.*

    Well, I’m glad it worked out, for the most part, for the OP. Hopefully the former employer won’t hold it against her. Even the most well intentioned people can get duped by a friend. (myself included) Some people are just that good at lying.

  6. saro*

    Yes, I think the employer won’t hold it against the OP. Everyone makes mistakes, OP apologized. Chalk this up as a lesson learned. It’s disappointing when a friend flakes so royally though.

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