John resigned and left a couple of weeks ago. It was on good terms, but you recruited John and feel some of the sting. After all, you needed him in that role and went out and got him.
He left you hanging - he left for what he considers a better opportunity before spending a year at your company.
Free Agent Nation my #$$. What ever happened to working through the bumps? Cue the music from the Godfather...
Then, the email comes. John's got a candidate for his former role. The cynic in you flares up and retorts the following to no one in particular:
-Let me get this straight, you left before spending a year and feel connected enough to refer someone on the inside track?"
-"Why would I want another you? You left me hanging"
-"No #$**# thanks, John"
You're wounded and walking with a noticeable physical limp from the resignation. It'll be a cold day in hell before you take that referral seriously, right?
Not so fast, my friend. Your heart is in the way of your head. You're forgetting that:
-John was in the role. He knows what's required in the job.
-John knows more about your culture than any outside referral source. Assuming he knows the referral on some level, he's more than likely making some type of match to the type of company you are.
-Most importantly: Even though John left too soon, he cares enough to refer someone to you.
You know that some folks refer anyone and everyone with a pulse to you. If John is "that guy", then discount the referral.
But - if John's a legit referral source and cares enough to match after he made a quick decision to leave, you need to check your emotions at the door and vet the candidate.
Don't hate John (the player), hate the game (free agent nation). Until you rip someone else from another company, at which point you are the game.