Hiring Friends and Family: What to Do and What Not to Do

extreme staffing hiring friends and family

We’ve all heard the sage, old advice to never hire friends and family. Never blur those lines between employer and loved one. It makes sense most of the time, but what if your cousin is the most qualified person you’ve interviewed? Or your best friend from grade school is the only one willing to take a chance on your startup? There’s got to be some exceptions! Here’s what to do and what not to do when it comes to hiring friends and families.

Treat Everyone the Same

In other words, be fair. If you do hire a family member or good friend, treat your working relationship with that person the way you would any other. This takes a lot of honest self-reflection. You have to regularly ask yourself if you’re giving preferential bias to your friend or family member. If they make a mistake, are the consequences the same for them as they would be for any other employee? Or, sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes employers overcompensate for a friendly relationship by being overly harsh or strict with a family member.

Define Roles and Responsibilities

Like, before you make hiring decisions. You want to make sure you both agree on who does what before you put your friend or family member on your pay roll. Lay out exactly what they will do and what they’ll be responsible for. How will they be held accountable? Who will their supervisors be? Who will report to them? Be very upfront and transparent about the chain of command. You don’t want a manager or supervisor neglecting their oversight because they’re afraid to correct “the boss’s kid.” This could negatively impact the quality of your team’s work. You want your product and performance to be the best it can be!

Agree on the Final Compensation

You want to have everything outlined—salary, wages, bonuses, hours, benefits—before you hire your loved one. Be precise about when and how they get paid and when they will be eligible for promotion or a raise. If their compensation is dependent on performance or sales commission, be clear about how that will work.

Put Everything in Writing

Be clear about your expectations and what’s to happen if the working relationship doesn’t work out. Define what a successful working relationship is and what a failed one is. Be very specific about what tasks and duties they are responsible for and who they report to. Make sure this is clear to all parties. Don’t hesitate to pause every so often and compare the existing relationship to what the ideal should be.

Friends and family can be some of your greatest allies at work – just make sure that guidelines are drawn the same way they would be for all employees. For more tips on hiring a qualified, talented staff who can drive your company toward sustainable growth, contact the family-oriented team at Extreme Staffing and Payroll today!

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