If you’re running a startup or planning to start one, you might have thought about getting a friend or someone from your family to work with/for you. That can be the worst decision of your life. You can hire someone you know if they are the best person for the job but even that comes with its disadvantages. Like the popular saying says “never mix your personal and professional life”.
Why? Here are some reasons:
Bias in hiring
When you are looking for the best person for a job you will often be biased towards people you know. You might reject someone with a better skill-set simply because you want to hire someone you know. But in business emotional decisions rarely pay off. You should always think of the business first.
As a startup you cannot afford to not hire the best. It will cost your company a lot in lost time and wasted potential.
Conversations become awkward with them
Having someone you know work for you, especially someone close, will make every moment in the office and outside awkward. You cannot behave with them the same way as you do with the rest of your employees. It’s hard to tell them that they are not performing up to the expectations. Discussions about compensations will always be like walking in a minefield. The emotional stress that comes with hiring a friend is just too much hassle for not much return in value.
Besides that your personal life is bound to get affected by this decision. You cannot simply hang out with them anymore without worrying about its implications for your company. They might constantly push you for more perks or promotions that you cannot afford. This will ruin an otherwise good friendship.
You cannot fire them as easily
Think about what if the person you hired becomes a liability. You have an emotional connection with them and losing a job can be devastating for them. This makes you reluctant to even talk about firing them if they can’t offer the expected value.
In most cases you will let your company suffer at your friend’s expense. You need to keep a rational approach when dealing with your employees. Involving people you are close to can cloud your judgments and can keep you from making the best decisions.
Bad for work culture
If you have a friend working in your office with other employees then they will most likely take advantage of the fact. Some might even assume authority that you never gave them and make decisions on your behalf. The rest of the staff can become reluctant to complain about bad behavior of your friends. Many will feel that you focus more on your friend than other employees, even if you don’t.
All of this is bad for your company culture. When employees don’t feel comfortable working in your office their productivity will take a hit.
They will not take you seriously
On top of you being reluctant to address any flaws in their work, there is a high possibility that they will treat you more like a friend than a boss. They might ignore your warnings thinking that they can get away with it and they most probably will. This will only further encourage them to be more careless about their attitude towards you.
These are just some of the reasons why you shouldn’t hire friends and family members for your company. There are a lot of other things you have to consider when thinking about hiring someone you know. But generally it is a bad idea to hire friends. This kind of mixing personal and professional life can only complicate things.