Should I Hire Friends and Family? Entrepreneurs Weigh In

Entrepreneurs share practical tips on hiring friends and family.

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Do you hire people you want to be friends with? Moreover, would you hire family and friends? “When it comes to landing certain positions, new research shows that considerable weight is put on whether the interviewer would like to have a beer with the interviewee,” Huffington Post writer Katherine Bindley explains.

According to a study published in the American Sociological Review, “employers are often more focused on hiring someone they would like to hang out with than they are on finding the person who can best do the job.” This approach is often found in small businesses, as owners place friends and family members at the forefront of the applicant pool.

But is it in the best interest of your company to hire friends and family in lieu of the most skilled candidates? We asked entrepreneurs to share their best hiring tips and whether or not you should keep business ‘all in the family’.

1. Ensure they have relevant experience.

“The worst thing you could do is have a family member take your business down with inexperience. Also be sure to have a signed agreement regarding work details, work schedule, and most importantly — salary. The key is to treat this as though they weren’t someone you knew personally. It will save you time, money, and heartache in the end.

– Shelby Alexander Griggs, Owner of ShelbyAlexanderGriggs.com, @girltalkwshelby

2. Never hire friends or family members.

What’s my tip on hiring friends and family? DON’T. Seriously, you’re setting yourself up for failure at work as well as ruining your personal relationships. Blood and money don’t mix well.”

– Jacques H. Bastien, CEO and Chief Creative Director of Boogie Graphics, LLC., @Boogie_Graphics

3. Set expectations upfront.

“When hiring family members or friends, I make sure that they understand this is all about business, and never personal! A business needs to keep running no matter what. As long as I set the expectations on this new relationship right, I do not have any problems.

– Duran Inci, Co-Founder and COO of Optimum7, @duraninci

4. Ensure they share your business philosophy.

“The single most successful factor for hiring friends or family members has been their belief in my business philosophy. I am transparent, so I tell them upfront what’s expected of them. Hire people who are committed, inspired and confident in your company.”

– Zaheer Dodhia, CEO of MycroBurst, @MycroBurst

5. Always hire for the position.

“Always hire for the position, not for a friend’s need and make sure it’s an available position, not one you’ve created for a friend to fill. If you’re hiring for an organic position and happen to know someone who is qualified, there is nothing better than hiring someone you know you can trust.”

– Chad Buckmaster, CEO of Processing Point, Inc., @uAttend

6. Utilize an employment contract.

“There’s always a high risk of losing the friendship or creating bad feelings with a family member.  It’s just a risky business proposition.  If you are still going to do it, get everything in writing and signed.  This is to assure that everyone is in agreement at the time of the employment.

– Laura Lee Rose, Owner of Rose Coaching, @Laura_Lee_Rose

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