Is there a protocol on sharing a hiring referral bonus with a friend?
June 30, 2016 11:07 AM   Subscribe

When you refer a friend, and they get hired, and you get a nice big bonus for the referral... is it cool to share some with them?

I am not in a position to be able to split it 50/50, but I thought a nice gesture would be to give something back. The total amount was not enough to buy a new car, but it was enough to pay off my old car and have some left over. So it isn't like I'm rolling in extra cash, but I'm happy to be out of debt.
posted by markhu to Work & Money (16 answers total)
 
You helped get them a job - you've done your part! No need whatsoever, even out of courtesy, to share the bonus with them.

If anything, you should both head out for an expensive dinner and split the check now that you can both afford it.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 11:11 AM on June 30, 2016 [14 favorites]


Hahaha no.

(Really. I need everything I can get from my cheapskate company; it's assumed that bonuses are precious and not shared.)
posted by sockerpup at 11:15 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would be thrown off by the offer - you did a thing for me in referring me for a job I wanted to take. I'd feel you were being over generous and would likely agonize over how to tactfully say no.
posted by scrittore at 11:15 AM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've taken a hire, that I've gotten a referral bonus for, out to a nice dinner. They were junior to me and it was a bit of a personal welcome to the company that I wanted to do, not because I felt like I owed them anything.

I wouldn't ever share the actual bonus money, that feels very strange. Like even unethical, somehow.
posted by danny the boy at 11:17 AM on June 30, 2016 [11 favorites]


If you want to share, invite them out for a fancy dinner to welcome them to the company and pay for it with your bonus money.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:17 AM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


My (very foodie) friend got a nice signing bonus when I joined my current company, and took myself and my bf to a tasting menu meal at a much higher end restaurant than either of us would usually go too.

It was a really lovely thing to do (there was a 6m waiting period before he could collect the bonus anyways, so that gave us time to make reservations), but I really didn't expect to see any of it back.
posted by larthegreat at 11:18 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have two coworkers who grew up together and have worked together across something like 5 different companies. They said they just keep swapping off whose turn it is to keep the referral bonus. If splitting it were a thing people do, you'd think they'd have split them all.

Check your company handbook. Some of them explicitly forbid splitting bonuses like this.
posted by phunniemee at 11:30 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would feel extremely weirded out if someone who helped me get a job offered to give me cash out of their bonus.

Pay off your old car, use part of the rest for a "more than we would generally spend on ourselves" experience with your friend.

Maybe a fancy dinner (with all the wine and desserts) (as suggested).

Maybe you share a hobby that you could take him for an outing related to? A guided day-fishing tour? or a visit to the symphony? etc.

If you both like prestige alcohols, maybe splurge on something ridiculous: like a bottle of Pappy or Sam Adam's Utopia to split while you hang out for an evening?

Basically -- no "gifts," but, whatever your friendship's version of "I'm happy to have you around and I'd like to treat you to a celebration" looks like.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:32 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


The benefit to them is that they have a new (hopefully better) job. The benefit to your company is that they (hopefully) have a known quantity coming to work for them. The benefit to you is $$. Everybody wins!

If you feel awkward about it, you could take your friend out to lunch or dinner or something to welcome them to the new company, or to buy them a nice bottle of wine to celebrate, but otherwise I think that money is yours to spend.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 12:17 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I understand the inclination to do this but nah. You already did them a favor and in fact, the polite thing would be for THEM to take YOU out to celebrate your getting them a job! Good work and keep that money to yourself!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 12:39 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are there any strings on the money? Can it be yanked back by the company if the person you referred leaves before a year is up?

I don't think you have to share it. Finding someone a job is usually considered a large favor.
posted by puddledork at 12:54 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Buy them a celebratory drink after their first week on the job and you're set.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:29 PM on June 30, 2016


If anything, you should both head out for an expensive dinner and split the check now that you can both afford it.

Hmm. IMO I'd just pay for the dinner out of the bonus. New employees don't get their first paycheck for a while, and if they've been unemployed for a little while, it may take them a while to stabilize to the point of feeling comfortable. You, OTOH, have been working, and just got a bonus.
posted by aubilenon at 1:51 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


You should take them out to a very nice dinner.
posted by dame at 2:06 PM on June 30, 2016


This happened to me and my referrer (not a particularly close friend at the time) took me out for dinner at a hip-but-not-overly-expensive pop-up restaurant to celebrate. She paid.

It felt really appropriate and I'm still grateful to her for how generous it felt.
posted by citands at 2:16 AM on July 1, 2016


I got taken out to dinner by my referrer and thought it was a nice gesture.
Seems like that is pretty common by these answers. Definitely don't give them $. Dinner or a congratulations bottle of wine would be nice.
posted by rmless at 9:48 AM on July 1, 2016


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