When your business needs help, it is very common to turn to family members or close friends. Usually, they are willing to help out, and they are people you already know and trust. That is a unique advantage professionally, right? Nearly all research shows that hiring a family member or close friend is a bad idea, but this does not mean that you should automatically dismiss the idea. There are always exceptions, and some people find a way to make it work. However, the truth of the matter is, it is extremely challenging to hire a family member, and if the situation does not work out, unfortunately, it can affect your personal life and relationships.
We will discuss a few of the typical problem areas faced when you decide to hire a close friend or family member. Before you decide to go ahead and hire them, consider the following factors.
Is the person qualified for the job or is this merely nepotism?
The number one concern regarding hiring a family member is the perception of nepotism to other, especially to other employees. A lot of times, a close relative is in need of a job, and your business has a job opening. Avoid using a professional solution to solve a personal problem. Take the family tie out of the equation. You must consider their qualifications. Would you give this specific position to someone else with the same qualifications?
The appearance of nepotism is a huge concern to other employees in your company. Quite often, resentment is harbored against the family member. Even if the person is qualified and begins to be successful, others will always think that the only reason they are successful is due to their relationship with you.
Emotions are always an issue
Emotion is a natural part of any relationship – especially the family one. Emotions tend to make things messy in the workplace, especially if the times comes to correct or reprimand your family member. How will your family react to you as their boss when you must reprimand or discipline them? More often than not, they take it personally.
Your family may have unreasonable expectations
You may think that it is a given that your family member knows ahead of time that you will not show favoritism. However, the actuality is, deep down, your family member has their own set of expectations – leniency, extra perks, etc. Even if you are determined to treat them “just like everyone else” you will see them differently – whether intentionally or not. This affects how your company works, from disagreements to promotions.
Your family member may have access to confidential company information
Depending on the position, the family member you hire may have intimate knowledge of the internal workings of your company. More than likely, they will find it tempting to share problems and issues with other family members. Even office chat and gossip can spread, causing a world of other problems in your personal life.
Will your family member’s personality cause problems in the workplace?
Some people have “larger than life” personalities. You must consider how your family member’s personality will fit in with your current employees. Will they disrupt your place of business with unacceptable behavior? You cannot afford to lose your current good employees because of someone’s abrasive personality – whether family or not.
Will you be able to fire them if need be?
One thing you must keep in mind is whether you will be able to fire them if things to do not go well for some reason. It may not come to that, but you must be prepared. If you fire them, will it destroy your personal relationship with them or the relationship you have with other family members? You do not want to cause unnecessary division and hard feelings among your family.
If you are considering hiring a close friend or family member, be sure to take these things into consideration. It is not always a bad idea, but the decision must be carefully weighed. Ultimately, your behavior will determine whether hiring a family member will be successful. Be sure to be fair and impartial. If you cannot do this, then it is best to find someone else for the position.