Should I Hire Friends and Family? Entrepreneurs Weigh In

Entrepreneurs share practical tips on hiring friends and family.

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7. Conduct thorough research.

“Do your research! Before hiring a child, friend or family member, research common problems that may arise while working with a loved one and consider the impact it will have on your relationship. Also, be clear on what is expected from the new hire. Setting distinct boundaries and expectations helps eliminate future discrepancies.”

– Michael Cadden Troy, CEO of Troy Container Line

8. Let them know, “I’m the boss”.

“I let my friends and family know that during the workday, I’m not your friend or family member; I’m your boss, so don’t expect any slack on my part.  Creating a well defined line between these relationships is what matters.  We’ve had to let friends go already, but thanks to a clear discussion beforehand it went much smoother than I expected.”

– Luke Marchie, Co-Founder of Majux, @MajuxMarketing

9. Decipher work from play.

“When working with people you have a non-work relationship with, it’s super-crucial to make it clear from the beginning that work is work and fun is fun. While you can have fun at work, they need to understand that you might need to critique their performance and that isn’t a reflection of your non-work relationship with them.”

– Michelle Nickolaisen, Owner of Bombchelle, @_chelleshock

10. Make sure your reasons are legitimate.

“Do not hire a friend or relative because you are resisting trusting people you know less; everyone, and the company, will suffer from your refusal to grow up as a leader.”

– Teresa Hartnett, Owner and President Hartnett Inc., @HIDigitalStuff

11. Check personality compatibility.

“Make sure you have compatible personalities. Just because you are family or friends doesn’t mean you would get along in a work environment. If you can run errands successfully together, you can probably work together.”

– Budge Collinson, Founder and CEO of Infusion Sciences, @InfusionScience

12. Be brutally honest.

“When I hired my sister as my assistant, we had a completely open and brutally honest discussion about what was needed for the business, what I needed from an assistant and what she needed to feel supported in being great in the role. By making expectations clear up front, we can avoid the emotional pitfalls that come from assuming someone who knows you well will also know how you want your business to run.”

– Suzi Istvan, Founder of Social Suzi Designs, @TweetSuzi

13. Observe their habits, first. 

“It’s completely possible to hire friends and family… You’ll have a better understanding of how a close friend works over a complete stranger. When considering hiring someone you know, just keep in mind how they do other things in their life. Are they punctual? Can you rely on them? Treat your whole relationship with them as an “interview” and go from there.”

– Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation, @MyCorporation

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