Hiring Relatives For Your Business – Should You?

Here are some of the pros and cons about adding your relatives to the workforce in your new business:

Members of your family take personal conversations, and business conversations as the same thing – all personally. It is very difficult for family members to separate the two. Emotionality comes into play quite a bit when working with family members that you ask, tell, or suggest to do something.

Workers you hire from your family expect that the work environment will be more relaxed than working for strangers. Some family members will expect special breaks, or a lot of leeway to complete tasks and projects. Can you afford to treat them differently than regular employees you didn’t know before you hired them?

Time off for vacation, sick time, vacations, flex-time, maternity leave, etc – is treated by family as very important and expected. You are part of that family and so you must know how important it is – right? It is best to make this issue very clear from the outset what the policy is – and how many days family members will receive off.

Salary. Regardless of their actual position in the company, family members may believe they should get more pay than others that are doing more than they are – or, in more critical positions. If you succumb to the temptation of doing this for family members, other employees will feel resentment because of it. Makes no difference to them that the person getting paid more is part of your family. There is a general sense of fairness in the workplace that doesn’t get overwritten when family works for family and you’re better off to pay what the person is worth, not more.

What if you are getting pressure from within the family to hire another member of the family? What should you do in that case?

As a business begins it is in a very fragile period where, if things start going wrong, the entire business could go bottoms up. Hiring family employees can be exhausting… no matter how much patience you think you might have. You may start to blame your family workers for not pulling their weight…freeloading! It could turn into a very ugly situation.

I would recommend you not initially hire anyone from your family until the business is firm on its feet and even if something goes wrong, it won’t be catastrophic.

Perhaps the best policy is not to have family members join your business at all if you can help it. It is one that I personally adhere to, and frequently share with other owners of small businesses that are considering what to do.

Instead, have a clear policy of choosing employees only based on what they can add to your business. Business startup is a crucial time where success or failure is often just a few days away. Why not eliminate this one issue by not hiring family? I think it would be a very wise choice in most cases.

These are a few of the issues that invariably raise their ugly head when family members are hired into your new business. Can you handle the extra emotional issues? The resentment from other employees? The sometimes bad attitudes?

These are things you need to seriously consider right now before you hire them because after you hire them, can you fire them?