Sunday, September 8, 2019

Should You Hire Family and Friends for Your Small Business?


Should You Hire Family and Friends for Your Small Business?
When it comes time to hire for your Small Business, you most likely are looking for the right fit. You need someone who can do the job, work well with you and the rest of your team, and add something to your workplace skill set and productivity that is lacking.

But how does that work when you have a Family Business? Or even if you are simply thinking of hiring a friend or relative for the job?

This question was asked recently on quora.com, “How do Family Offices Perform Due Diligence?”, and it got us thinking……

Do Family businesses do Employment Background Checks? Should they? And if they don’t screen their employees, do they even consider the ramifications of not doing so?


Our answer…..
Family businesses, if they are smart, should do background checks on all their employees, even if they are family! The key to any good employment background check program is consistency. Setting a precedent from the beginning of screening all new and advancing employees makes good business sense and will help promote a safer and more productive workplace.

However, there are family businesses that don’t feel the need to do employment background checks. They believe that since they are hiring family, or people they know, screening them is not necessary. The problem with this way of thinking is that there could very well be a time when they find themselves ready to expand and hire outside their circle of family and friends. Doing employment background checks on these types of new hires may suddenly have an appeal. While it is true that it would be better late than never, the company has now opened themselves up to the possibility of being seen as discriminatory in their hiring practices.

That is why it is best for all new companies, even family businesses, to do background checks on all their employees. It is simply good for business!”.

Read other answers to this question here!

Now that it is clear that employment background checks are important to any business, no matter who you hire, the question then becomes…

Is it smart to even hire family members, or friends, for your small business?

We think that It depends!


Before simply jumping in and hiring a relative or a friend, you need to ask yourself two important questions first:

  1. Is Your Potential Hire Qualified for the Job?
  2. Can Your Potential New Hire learn quickly enough to Fit the Job?
It makes sense that any new hire has the skills and knowledge necessary to be productive in the position. This is especially important in a small business where your profit margin is often low and you may not have the time necessary to train your new hire. 

But, there are times when you may consider hiring a family member or friend who is not 100% qualified for the job. You may feel their other qualifications outweigh their shortfalls or you simply want to give them a chance.

Maybe they are known to be a hard worker and a quick learner. You may even be aware of other jobs where they have proven to be a good employee.

If you choose to go this route, then it is important that you are ready to spend the time necessary to get them up to speed. That may mean working with them yourself or finding a trusted employee to help. But remember, this will not only add to your own work load, but also the work load of your other employees.

In the end, it is your responsibility to make sure you do what is necessary to get your new hire get up to speed and become a productive member of your workforce.

If you don’t think it is possible to get them to that level, then it is best that you don’t make the hire!

However, if you still decide to hire your friend or family member, then be sure to follow your in-place hiring practices closely.

Do an Employment Interview ~ Ask the questions you would ask of any new potential hire. Talk about their skills and their past employment history. Make sure they also understand the job’s duties and what would be expected of them.

Do a Background Check ~ Do the same Employment Screening you would do for anyone being considered for your open position. It is important to set the precedent that you screen all potential employees to avoid any perception of bias or discrimination.

Learn more about Why You should Screen All Your New Hires in “If You are not Doing Background Checks on Your New Hires, You are Making the Biggest Mistake Your Small Business can Make!”.

Document Your Entire Process ~ Keep notes, including when your candidate was interviewed, your offer of employment, the background check results, and your final hiring decision.

But before you make a final decision to hire a friend or relative, you should also be aware of the potential problems if that hire ends up not working out!

It is one thing when you hire someone you don’t know, but if there is a problem and your new hire is a family member or friend, things can get much stickier.

Firing a friend or relative can not only be hard on you and them, it can end up being hard on those around you. Friendships can fall apart or family divisions form as people take sides.

That is why being even more careful when making this kind of hire makes sense. 

And if you have to turn down a friend or family member for a job, remember to do it tactfully!

Explain the job’s requirements and how hiring someone who is not ready to take these duties on will impact your business. If you think they may make a good hire in the future, then try to steer them towards ways they can develop those needed skills. 

Then, if you mean it, tell them that you will keep them in mind for future positions.

Remember, in the end, your business needs to come first. 

As a business owner, your focus has to be on strengthening your company, and this should be the goal when you make any new hire.

You should never put your own business in any kind of jeopardy by hiring someone who is unqualified or un-safe for the  position, even if they are a friend or family.

Establishing a sound hiring policy that includes common sense employment screening for all new hires is a great way to protect you, your company, your customers, and your employees!


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Need Help with Your Hiring Policy and Employment Background Checks? Contact Us Today! We can help you solve your important questions and concerns!


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