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Should You Hire Family? Five Things To Consider First.


Your sister is out of work and needs a hand.  You and your best friend have so much fun together.  Your cousin has a solid background in your business area and just so happens to be available.  These are examples of scenarios that may cause you to ask yourself, “Should I hire my friend/family member?” (Hint: While it can work, it can also lead to a bunch of trouble!)


While nepotism is frequently banned from larger companies to avoid abuse, it’s still alive and well in the small business sector. Family-run businesses are a staple of the American economy, responsible for employing 60 percent of the workforce, and creating 78 percent of all new jobs. 



The Positives Of Hiring A Family Member


Family-owned businesses rely heavily, as the name implies, on hiring more family members to stay afloat. Children who choose to follow in their parents’ footsteps can go into the family business and launch their own careers - an appealing option in an era where job stability can be anything but. Family members can also bring the added benefit of built-in business knowledge necessary for success, and can be quickly brought on to fill in any shortcomings you may face during a seasonal rush.



The Negatives of Hiring A Family Member


Of course, it’s not all good news. In a worst-case scenario, you may unintentionally hire a family member who turns out to be less than enthusiastic, or just plain terrible at the job. If your business employs a combination of family and non-family employees, it can also result in the appearance (whether it’s true or not) of favoritism for family members promoted over equally-qualified non-family candidates. And heaven forbid you have to fire a family member. Are you sure you can separate your professional relationship from your personal one, or are you risking an awkward situation at the next family gathering?



Consider These Questions Before You Hire A Family Member


Before you take the plunge and hire someone with whom you have an existing relationship, you need to consider the following questions:

  1. Is this person actually qualified for the job I am hiring for?  If you wouldn’t hire them based on their resume alone, you may want to reconsider offering them the job.

  2. Do I actually have a position to fill?  Are you creating a position for this person, or would you be looking to hire anyway if they weren’t available?

  3. How will my other employees perceive this hire?  It is naive to think that you can keep your pre-existing relationship under wraps.  Assume your other employees will know and consider addressing any perceived favoritism upfront, before it becomes an issue.

  4. If this doesn’t work out and I have to discipline or terminate my friend/family member, how will it impact our relationship?  Are you willing to lose this relationship if things go south?

  5. Do I understand all applicable labor laws?  Just because someone is related or a friend and willing to “help you out” doesn’t mean things like minimum wage and overtime don’t apply.  Make sure you are prepared to stay in compliance with all regulations.



Looking For A Hiring Solution? Archimedes Is Happy To Help.

As you can see, hiring a friend or family member can be complicated and can come with a whole host of complications.  Give us a call to discuss any potential hires and let us help you create a plan to keep issues to a minimum.

971-301-4164 • 971-301-4214

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