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Should you work with family and friends?

One place small business employers often fail to search for new job applicants is the families and friends of their best employees. Before rushing headlong into hiring family or friends, consider the people and all areas of business that will be affected. Hiring friends and relatives can be a balancing act. If not handled well, it can sour the working environment. But hiring friends and family can have great benefits too, as long as you proceed carefully with these following points:

Business is not a charity:
Don’t hire an employee’s relative just because they ‘need’ a job. If someone has trouble holding down a job, you don’t want them either. Make it clear that if the relative or friend doesn’t perform as expected, he or she will have to go. Hire on a probationary basis, establishing a two-week or month-long period to see how things work out.

Hire for the right reasons:
People rarely see their own relatives clearly and are therefore likely to make general and positive statements that don’t tell you if they have relevant work experience or training, rather than analysing their capabilities. With this in mind, ask specific, detailed questions about their qualifications before you agree to interview them.

Never play favourites.
Be toughest on your own relatives. Before you hire a relative, make it clear to them that they are going to have to prove themselves, and they will be held to the highest standards. Make sure all the rules apply to all employees. Everyone has to be qualified and they have to do their jobs well. Otherwise, they’re not hired.

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