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Encompass® Agency Insights

Hiring Family and Friends to Work in Your Business: Pros and Cons

friends. When it comes to hiring friends and family, a strong personal relationship is not always a good indicator of a successful professional relationship. In fact, a pre -existing personal relationship can sometimes make supervising a friend or family member more challenging, but there can also be upsides. If you’re short on funding or struggling to source temporary staff, a friend or family member could be a huge help.

Unsure whether you should extend that job opportunity to those closet to you? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Are they qualified for this job? While you may trust a family member or friend’s judgment and discretion, this does not necessarily mean they are qualified for the role. If you were writing a job description for this position, what skills and experience would be required? Can this person hit the ground running, or will the team need to spend significant time training them?
  • How will this person interact with your current employees? Current employees may feel frustrated or resentful if they perceive your new hire as unqualified for the role. If the new hire has a position of significant seniority, some existing employees might even feel “passed over.” When possible, explain your reasoning to the team in advance, and reassure them that this hire will be held to the same high -performance standards to which you hold your current employees.
  • Does this hire solve a problem that a non -friends -and -family hire can’t? In some cases, a friend or family member may be doing your business a favor by providing help in a pinch. For example, hiring great talent can be a challenge, especially with seasonal staffing. Since seasonal staffing needs fluctuate, if you’ve waited until the last minute, you may find the candidate pool is very limited and a friend or family member may generously offer to bridge the gap. If you're short on cash, a friend or family member might also be willing to work at a below -market rate to help grow your business.

Once you have determined this friend or family member is the most qualified person for the open role, make sure of the following:

  • Set expectations upfront for appropriate behavior. Determine the best options for keeping professional and personal lives separate. If you’re working with a spouse, for example, what steps can you take to prevent personal conflicts from spilling over into the work environment?
  • Have a buffer between you and your hire. If possible, consider having another employee serve as the new hire's direct supervisor. This reduces your day -to -day interactions and adds an extra layer of professionalism.
  • 3. Measure performance based on results. Be clear upfront that you will measure performance on the same scale used to assess other employees and that you will not be extending any "special treatment" to your new hire. Explain the consequences for failing to achieve performance goals, which may include being demoted or fired.

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