If you decide to hire a relative or close friend to work in your business, it will probably be based on the assumption that goodwill and loyalty will follow. But sometimes it can be difficult to work with those you love – the relationship changes from the one you’re used to, with the danger of bad feelings encroaching onto life outside of work.
The problem is that issues tend to surface very quickly if you’re not prepared for them, and can make you question your decision. Common problems include adverse reactions from the existing staff, your friend or relative taking advantage of you, or accusations of favouritism being made.
So to help you deal with a potentially tricky situation, here are just a few of the pros and cons of hiring a friend or family member. They may help you decide whether familiarity would work in your favour, or if it could ultimately be the bane of your life.
Pros of hiring friends and family
Cons of hiring friends and familyA trial period would be a good way to see how the situation develops, giving yourself and your friend or relative the opportunity to back away with no loss of dignity if it doesn’t work out. It’s also essential to have a written contract in place if you decide on a more permanent arrangement, as well as an employee handbook that outlines the disciplinary procedures and other rules.
Although you’ll make a saving on recruitment costs, there may be a hidden price to pay for taking on a friend or relative, and one which could threaten your relationship in the long-term.
Putting the situation on a more professional footing reduces the threat to your relationship away from work, and protects you from issues experienced simply because you’re a friend or relative of this employee.
Anything you can do to mitigate these risks will help to save the friendship in the long-run, and ensure your business runs smoothly with or without their input.
Gary Addison has over 20 years’ experience advising directors when facing the threat of company liquidation, particularly in the area of director redundancy and statutory entitlements.