Welcome to the botched-BJ edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a first year at McGladrey doesn’t feel comfortable recommending his former college classmate for any openings at his firm. How does one handle breaking the news to the interested party that they don’t have what it takes?
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I’m a first-year at McGladrey. For the second time in the past month a former college classmate of mine has requested that I recommend him to the powers that be at our firm for any openings we may have.
I don’t think that either of these people would fit into a major public accounting firm either socially or in terms of talent. What is the appropriate etiquitte for this situation? I doubt I’m the only one.
Dear Natalie Fanboy,
I’d be really interested to hear why you think your former classmate wouldn’t fit in “socially or in terms of talent.” Do they still have trouble getting through Goodnight Moon? Does he/she have terrible body odor? Do their social skills border somewhere between “Did you look in the mirror before you left the house?” and “We can’t take you anywhere!”? These details would prove helpful.
I’ll move on. Most firms have an automated method of submitting referrals and I’d be shocked if McGladrey didn’t have something similar. If Mickey G’s does have a such a process, just throw your classmate’s résumé into the machine and it will get sorted out one way or another. If your suspicions are correct (i.e. your friend has no chance) then it’s likely nothing will happen.
If McGladrey doesn’t have such protocols in place and it is based on the ol’ résumé handoff, then A) Tell McG HR to get their shit together and B) simply explain to your friend what it’s like to work there before they start claiming this is their dream job. Is a career at McGladrey really what this person wants or did they recently come to the conclusion that clocking hours on PS3 won’t get them too far in life and they’ve go to do something?
The other thing you can do is impress upon your friend that you’re a first year associate and they barely let you have lunch, let alone recommend former classmates to TPTB at the firm. That is, the odds of anything happening are slim. If your he/she persists, explain what the expectations are (i.e. hours for the pay, other things that make it less-than desirable) and that people fail left and right. Basically, let this Mickey G wannabe know what kind of situation they’d be getting themselves into. This will allow you to indirectly present the reasons you don’t think this person might not fit in without explicitly pointing out their shortcomings.
Now, if they still are begging you to take their résumé, I don’t know why you wouldn’t just pass it along and see what happens. Hell, if they were to get hired, you might even get a bonus out of it. You got something against money?