A Startup Is Selling Referrals for Jobs at Facebook, Google, and Amazon
Source: OneZero on Medium
By Seth King
If you’re looking for a job at a tech company like Facebook, Amazon, or Google, you’re probably also looking for a referral. Just buy one. Rooftop Slushie, a website created by the makers of the anonymous tech forum Blind, has facilitated more than 11,000 referral purchases since launching last year, Daniel Kim, the site’s product manager, told OneZero.
Candidates fill out a form listing their desired companies and the amount they are willing to pay per referral — usually between $20 and $50, according to Kim — and upload their resume. Verified employees at the listed companies, known as “vendors” on Rooftop Slushie, can view their resume and asking price, then decide whether or not to accept their offer. Facebook and Google referrals, according to Kim, are the biggest sellers.
After purchasing a referral, candidates will often receive a confirmation email with the next steps from their desired company. If candidates don’t receive a referral from the vendor, they can email Rooftop Slushie for a refund.
When asked if selling referrals for a small fee was an ethical concern, [one] vendor quickly dismissed the notion. “Whether or not a candidate gets a job is beyond my control,” he said. “There is no silver bullet to making it through the recruitment process. It’s really a coaching platform.”
What do we know about a company when its employees will openly take bribes for referrals to their boss about a job? We know Amazon, Google, Facebook and other employers have lost control of recruiting and hiring. When an online pop-up store can charge $50 for “referrals” to a company’s recruiter, you know one thing: that company’s HR department is running a numbers game. Stay away from HR, especially if you have to ante up to submit your resume. (See also 10 reasons your company’s HR can’t fill jobs.)
Is this practice ethical? Would you pay Rooftop Slushie to bribe somebody for referrals to a recruiter? What does this “business model” tell us about America’s Employment System? Most important, how does this really affect your ability to get a job?