Hiring Spouses and Friens

The most typical form of family hiring comes in the form of spouses owning or
managing an organization. The reasons for this in the embryonic stages of a company are
obvious. In the early years of a company, this arrangement is an economic necessity. It
can be comfortable, even advantageous for this arrangement to continue for a while. The
risks of this kind of nepotism can, however, make things difficult as the company grows.

Employees are often confused as to whom to actually report to. Personal relationships
between spouses and their employees just get strained. My opinions on this won’t really
make a difference. Spouses will continue to run businesses. The key is to recognize the
point in the growth curve where such an arrangement detracts from the business
endeavor. All of us can objectively recognize that blood and business rarely mix.

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Hiring friends can be as risky as hiring relatives. In a perfect world this could
work and when the business endeavor goes well, it may be a great relationship, but when
things don’t go easily (which is most of the time), either the business relationship of the
individuals ends or their friendship ends or as in most cases, both. Ever try to fire a
friend whom you hired as a result of your friendship? It isn’t easy on a friendship basis.

We don’t really know people as well as we think we do. We put ourselves and
our friends in a very awkward position when we hire them. It’s too easy for people to
feel the other guy can take advantage of them. Most of the time, somewhere in the
relationship, someone does.


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