One dilemma that many, if not most, business owners face at some point is whether to hire people close to them. This problem also crops up at larger companies; for example, a manager may want to hire his son but knows how it might appear to other employees. Here are a few things to consider as you mull over hiring friends and family.
Pro: Readily Available Help
If you are hiring friends and family, odds are good that the people in question can start work in the next couple of weeks or possibly even the very next day. In many cases, these folks are the ones approaching you and asking for help. For the most part, you are able to cut through the need for background checks, to verify information on resumes and to contact references.
Con: Relationship Boundaries
If you have difficulty with boundaries, prepare for even more pain. The atmosphere when you bring friends and family on board can be casual, in a bad way. You may have great respect for your uncle, so how do you tell him that he really does need to be on time? How do you tell your cousin that, no, he can’t just take off three hours early every day? Start right from the beginning in explaining the boundaries involved and that a condition of the employment is that friends and family follow the same rules as everyone else.
Pro: Energy and Enthusiasm
One huge pro that you get when hiring friends and family is their energy and enthusiasm. Yes, in some situations, hiring them backfires when they abuse the position. But in other cases, they go above and beyond to help you. They support your business. They support your ideas. They’re passionate about what you do. They want nothing but to see you succeed. This kind of backing can be invaluable.
Con: You’re More Likely to Find Someone Qualified Elsewhere
Chances are good that your open positions (or positions you could create) have a specific list of required skills. Not many people in the general population have these skills, so what are the odds that friends and family do? You may feel pressured to hire someone who meets only half of the qualifications. Is Grandma needling you to hire your cousin and saying, ïYou can teach her so and so!ï That kind of pressure is unfair but is a reality for some people. The good news is that many hard skills can indeed be taught. Soft skills such as work ethic, communication and empathy, not so much.
Pro: You Might Save Money
Disclaimer up front: you should pay people what they are worth. However, that is not always possible, especially for very new startup businesses. The funds may simply not be there. So, hiring friends and family can solve a few problems on both sides. Many small-business owners enlist the help of their minor children for at least a few hours every week, and the result is saved money, and often, more bonding. Another example: you need to bring on a marketing specialist but can’t really afford the expenditure. Your nephew at the state university needs an internship in marketing and suggests that he work for you a few months, for a small stipend. You know he’s qualified and works hard. Both of you are happy. In cases like this, however, do make sure you’re not trying to save money by hiring a subpar worker or someone who would abuse the position.
Con: Other Employees Might Resent You
So, you are a bigwig at the firm where you work and have brought your recently graduated son on board. Be prepared for other employees to resent you and your son. They had to go through a rigorous application process and believe that your son simply waltzed in. In situations such as this, hiring friends and family leads to all but inevitable short-term pain. In the long term, however, if the new hire works hard, makes the proper connections and proves himself, the ship tends to right itself.
You work long hours at your pizza business and almost never see your kids. It makes sense to have them help out once in a while. They get an idea of hard work, what you do on a daily basis, and you guys can even have fun together at work. You’d love to pass on the business to the next generation one day, so you want to get the kids invested early on as well. Even when kids are not involved, hiring friends and family can be a valuable bonding experience. You learn more about your relative as you face challenges every day, and that’s an experience you cannot get elsewhere. As you look to make all-star hires, turn to the tools here at Mighty Recruiter to aid in your quest.