Hiring Friends and Relatives – Great Idea or Business Headache?

business-friends-relativesIf you own a business, you’ve probably been faced with the option of hiring friends or family members in the past – mixing your business and personal lives has its pros and cons, and the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are some things to bear in mind when you consider a friend or relative for a job in your company.

At least you know who you’re hiring – or do you?

The main benefit that comes from hiring a friend or relative instead of a stranger who applies for a job is that you know the person well – you’re familiar with their personality, strengths, and weaknesses.

In theory, this should allow you to assign them tasks that they will be successful in carrying out, making them a valuable member of your team. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs hire a friend or relative only to realise that they didn’t know the person as well as they thought.

Unless you’ve lived or worked with the person before, you may find that their personality at the office isn’t the same as in a social setting – make sure you really know your friends and family before offering them a job.

Hire the best-qualified person

Employing a friend or family member in your business is only a good strategy if the person is well-qualified and experienced in their job. Hiring someone you know personally because they “need a job” could result in a less efficient office and you may end up losing money as a result.

Another factor that you should consider is the impact that a friend or relative could have on the morale of your team. If your other employees suspect that the new staff member was hired because they “know the boss”, feelings of resentment may build up very quickly in your team.

Treat every team member the same

If you are hiring someone you know personally, make sure that you emphasise their qualifications to the rest of the team, and make it clear to them that they will be treated exactly the same as every other member of staff.

You could also consider assigning a senior member of your team to train and manage the new person, so that they don’t report to you directly. These strategies will make your new employee feel like a full member of the team, and will reduce any suspicion or negative feelings in their co-workers.

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