So you own a company, or have the authority to hire people at the company you work at. Your friend or relative is looking for work. Do you hire them? You want to help them right? They should be a good worker as you know them…right? Hmmm
The decision to hire someone you know could have a lasting impact not only on your relationship with that person, but also the staff and company. I would caution you to think long and hard before extending that offer of employment.
Many people don’t think about the things that could go wrong in this type of situation, they want to help, they think that the friend/relative will work hard and that is really where the thinking stops. Here are some things that I would suggest you think long and hard about before moving forward:
1. What will I do if this person is not pulling their weight or there are performance problems?
2. What happens if I receive a complaint about this person?
3. What happens if this person asks for accommodations that are not normally provided by the company to other employees?
4. What happens if this person is looking for a raise that falls outside of the normal pay range for the position?
5. What happens if I no longer have work for this person?
The answer to all of these questions is: “I will treat them as any other employee under my management”. This absolutely must be your answer and must be the way you manage this situation. Here is the problem….this is not as easy as it sounds. There are feelings, there is a relationship at stake, and there are others in your family or circle of friends that also may weigh in on the situation.
Some people also don’t think about the impact on the other employees or the company. Employees, once they know there is a prior relationship with the new hire, may have differing reactions. They may be uncomfortable forming a good working relationship with this person. They may not feel comfortable coming forward with any concerns with lack of performance or activities that are normally frowned upon. They may feel that there is or will be preferential treatment. Mistrust may breed amongst the staff and eventually impact staff and company performance.
You may think that this article is slanted very much to one side…that hiring relatives or friends is always a bad idea. There are indeed examples where this has worked well, however there are far too many more where it hasn’t.
If you find yourself in this situation or in this dilemma, I strongly urge you to thoroughly think through your decision and have a deep and detailed discussion with the individual if you plan to move forward. Take your time and don’t come to any quick decisions.