Should You Hire Friends Or Relatives?

February 17th, 2012

When you run or manage a business, chances are a friend or relative will ask you for a job—or offer to “help out” when you’re in a pinch.

On the one hand, you might really need the help, but on the other, what if it doesn’t work out?

It’s tempting to hire friends or relatives for key positions because you feel you can trust them to have your best interests at heart. But most experts warn that combining work and family relationships almost always causes the personal relationship to suffer—and the same can go for friendships.

Whether you truly feel your friend or relative is the best candidate for the job, or you feel obligated to hire them, here are some strategies for making the relationship successful:

Outline the job. Before you hire the person, outline the specific tasks they’ll be performing.

Find the best fit. Don’t give your friend or relative just any position. Consider what role will be the best fit for that person’s skills and experience, then make a match.

Explain your expectations. Prepare an employment manual that includes all of the work rules and expectations for employees. This should include work hours, vacations, and attendance requirements. Being clear from the beginning will prevent misunderstanding and hard feelings later.

Talk about standards. Explain the consequences if the person doesn’t do the job correctly. Make it clear that your friend or relative will be held to the same standards and disciplinary actions as other employees.

Monitor the grapevine. Having a relative work with your other employees can create some minor problems, such as having your employees accuse you of favoritism. Be aware of these issues, because even if the other employees don’t speak up, the undercurrent of tension can lead to lower productivity and morale, and ultimately to higher turnover.

Everyone has relatives and friends, and they can be great contributors to our success. But a business relationship must be treated as such, from the beginning, in order to preserve both the business relationship and the personal one.

For information on how to make great hires without difficulty, contact Olympic Staffing. We work with top talent across Southern California and beyond, every day, and we know how to find the professionals you need to take your business to the next level—without complications.

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