Business owners have a lot on their plates — and deciding who to hire to join your team can be one of the hardest things to perfect. It’s a high-stakes task that can lead to a team of hardworking individuals coming together for the greater good or — alternatively — an uncomfortable situation where only a few employees are pulling their weight and it’s hard to get anything done. But what if a family member or friend comes to you about one of your open opportunities? Would you trust your loved ones and hire them for the role? Or do you tend to stay away from mixing your personal life with your professional world? That’s an important question to ask yourself. Here are some scenarios to consider before you hire your loved ones:
Having Tough Conversations
As you know, business is not all smiles, laughs and profit. There’s also hard work and sometimes even harder conversations to be had. Do you want to have those with your relatives or your best friends? When at work, the business/life balance is a very particular one. And if you need to talk about budget cuts, poor performance or downsizing, it’s necessary for you to treat your loved ones the same way you would treat any other employee. If you can’t do that, hiring your family and friends might not be the move for you. If you think hurt feelings will affect you professionally or that it could negatively impact your personal relationships, it might not be worth it for you. Don’t let resentment take over your relationships.
For The Right Reasons?
So you’ve had a loved one apply for an open role in your business. What qualifications are you gauging while you sift through the stacks of applications? And are you sure that your friend or family member meets those? Are they passionate about their potential role within your business or do they just want the hookup because they need a job? Alternatively, are you hiring for the right reasons? Are they qualified for the position they’re looking to fill or do you feel guilty or like you owe them something? Hiring a new employee isn’t something to be taken lightly because it costs money to hire and train someone. Think about how every new team member will impact the business long-term.
No Way Out
When you get home after work at night or spend time with your family and friends on the weekend, chances are that some of the appeal of this time is that you’re able to forget about work and focus on your personal life for a certain amount of time. Will this release and freedom be lost during your favorite free-time activities if your family and friends bring up work outside of the office? The inability to escape work tension and stress is a potentially overwhelming problem to have.
Your employees are not owed information about your personal life. In fact, having that separation can be a super essential part of living with a healthy work/life balance. But if your family and friends are in the workplace, that separation can’t exist without also changing your personal relationships outside of work. Maintaining those boundaries can be essential to your happiness and the integrity of the business.
Contrary to the former points, there is an upside to having family members or friends as employees. Although there are complications with that crossover, there’s also the confidence you’ll have in your knowledge of their work history and their qualifications. You’ll know from the jump and from personal experience if you’re getting into business with someone you can rely on and trust. Use this transparency to your advantage if you do hire a friend or family member.
Whatever you decide, this balance is a delicate one. Think carefully about how you want to proceed before combining your personal and professional relationships while maintaining success in both areas of your life.