DEAR HARRIETTE: I interviewed a number of dynamic people for a project recently. I could hire only one person. I was telling a friend about my experience, and she asked me if I would refer the people I hadn’t hired to her. This put me in an awkward situation. The job I had to offer was very specific and different from what my friend needs. Perhaps someone might work for her, though.
Something about my friend asking rubbed me the wrong way. What I realize is that every time I go through an interviewing process, this same friend wants to take her pick from my group. I spend a lot of time and effort soliciting talent for my projects. My friend told me that she only wants to interview people who have already been vetted by people she knows. She admitted that she wants me to do the work for her. I take offense to that. Should I refer her to the candidates who might be good for her, despite me being miffed at her for mooching? -- Freeloader
DEAR FREELOADER: If you truly believe you have met a candidate who would be good for your friend, don’t keep that information to yourself. Share. But what you can do in the future is stop talking about the machinations of your interview process. Your friend has told you hers. She waits to hear what her friends and colleagues have learned about people and picks from their rejects. If you don’t want her to do that anymore, stop talking about what you do and who you’ve met. What you don’t tell her, she won’t know.