Here’s why hiring friends and relatives is typically a VERY bad idea

Reported by Liku Zelleke

As a small business owner, you have probably hired some of your closest friends or even members of your own family to help out during peak seasons. It was then that you may have realized that the people whom you were considerate enough to offer a way to make money weren’t up-to-par when it came to on-the-job performance.

Gladys Edmunds, founder of Edmunds Travel Consultants in Pittsburgh, an author, a coach and consultant in business development says, “Friends and family members are not always the best place to look for employees. And, the way to be guaranteed that they show up, and on time, is when they live in the house with you.”

In general, having relatives work for you can be risky, because if the working relationship falls apart, it can spill over into your personal relationship. Also, relatives may see you as more of a friend than a boss. This could mean that they won’t show up for work, or they won’t work as hard for you as they would for a stranger. Confronting them about this behavior could lead to disagreements.

If you decide to hire relatives, be sure to set the rules up in advance. You may even want to have them sign a contract. This way, if they renege on the agreed-upon performance standards, you have something clear with which you can hold them accountable.

Edmunds advises that business owners should focus on hiring part-timers like retirees and students who actually look forward to making some extra money without having to commit to a full-time job.

“Plus, having a retired person in your company can prove beneficial to you. These seniors have seen a lot and have encountered many of life’s experiences and can help you to learn and grow in many ways,” Edmunds writes.

To find them, she recommends that small business owners place ads in local newspapers, call employment areas or put notices on bulletin boards in colleges, trade schools and universities. Even church bulletins and newspapers are great places to find part-timers.

Once that is covered, Edmunds says owners should review their workplace practices in order to determine if their pay is adequate or that working conditions are clean and safe.

In the case of payment, a little research should be enough to shed light on the market price of employees.

“To be sure of getting the right people to work in your company become clear on what you need in an employee. This is often overlooked when hiring,” Edmunds writes. “Generally when we start our businesses, we often start off solo and then business starts to grow and we reach out for help and we tend to accept the first people we see. That’s how we end up hiring family and friends. Get out of that trap.”

Comments
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liz
liz

I know from experience that working with family and close friends can be difficult. No guarantees that you can avoid all issues but laying out very specific expectations from the beginning is key.