Dave Advises on Dangers of Hiring Relatives into a Small Business

April 11, 2017

 

Dear Dave,
My husband and I own a small business.
One of our relatives asked for a job recently, and we both have reservations about hiring him because there are several dysfunctional relationships and personalities within our extended family.
Are we being mean?
We’re not sure how to respond.
Becky

Dear Becky,
Having a small business doesn’t give relatives a free pass to employment.
As entrepreneurs, you have the right and responsibility to do what’s best for your company.
And you don’t have to hire anyone — even a relative — who’s not a good fit.

There are situations where hiring a family member can actually be a plus.
If a relative is qualified and the kind of person who understands they’ll have to bust it every single day and perform at a level equal to or above your other team members, that can be a special and productive thing.
A relative who is a problem child, however, can be a nightmare in both your professional and personal lives.

Ask yourself a few questions: Would you hire this person if they weren’t part of the family?
Would you hire this person because they would make a good team member?
If the answers are no, then you don’t hire them — period.

Be kind about the situation, because there may be some bruised feelings.
But the bottom line is you have to do what’s best for your business, your immediate family, and your team.
—Dave