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The president of our company recommended one of his friends for an open position in my department. I just interviewed him, and I found him to be arrogant and obnoxious, and his qualifications are not right for the job. I donít want to cross the president, but I donít want to recommend that we hire his friend. What should I do?

If you truly believe that this person is wrong for the company, it would be wrong of you to recommend him, regardless of his friendship with the president.

At the same time, much of this depends upon the company president himself. If he is a leader who takes a businesslike approach in bringing new people onboard, he will be receptive to businesslike reasoning for passing on his friend. However, if he is arbitrary and autocratic, or if he is the kind of leader who would take reprisals against you for negative comments about his friend, then you have much larger questions than the one you posed here.

The best approach is to meet face to face with the president to talk about the suitability of this individual for the position. Rather than labeling him as arrogant or obnoxious, you should describe his behaviors that point to these characteristics. Your primary emphasis should be on this individualís lack of adequate experience, expertise, skills, and abilities for this position. Let the president see that it would be unfair to the company and to his friend to place him in such a position.

Hopefully, your president does not have much in common with this friend.

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