Considerations for Hiring Family

hiring friends and familyYour affiliate business is booming. You’re stretched thin and need someone to help you get everything done. Or maybe your want to invest in your affiliate site, but need extra hands to implement all the necessary changes to get your business to the next level.

So, where do you turn for help? Well, if you’ve been a solo operation, the first place you might look is to family, friends or maybe even your spouse. That makes sense, since these are people you know and trust. However, there are some things you might want to consider before hiring someone from your inner circle.

Location is not a Skill Set

Perhaps you live in a very rural area and know that means finding qualified employees is unlikely. You might be right. Major metropolitan areas have more people, and thus, more workers with skills you require. However, hiring your unemployed BFF simply because she needs a job, you have a job, and she lives 2 miles away, isn’t a good reason to do so. There are plenty of ways to manage and work with remote employees. A new hire doesn’t need to be in your area to do a good job.

Previously Established Dynamics

There’s no one you can count on more than your mom. And while she’s been there for you through the highs and lows of your life, her role has probably been that of a cheerleader, supporter, caretaker, nurturer and even a friend – not an employee. Think about what it’s going to be like for you to have to give specific directions, set deadlines, and review the performance of your mom or husband or sister. Depending on personal dynamics of any relationship, you may find it hard to change long established roles. And that friend or relative might find it difficult to view you as their boss.

It Can Get Emotional

It can be hard to take the emotions of any relationship. But if you hire a friend or family member it’’s hard to claim that anything that happens at work is “just business.” It might be hard for everyone involved to separate their personal and work entanglements. People tend to take things personally and your success (or failures) could make for a messy emotional work environment. That’s bad for business.

Perceived Favoritism

Down the road, if you need to hire even more people, having a relative or friend on staff may cause problems. Other employees may think that person gets more favorable treatment or has insider information. That can cause resentment and create discord among your workforce.

There are times when affiliates have successfully grown their company into a family business. It takes a lot of work and requires some finesse to navigate the challenges. But it can be done.

Here are a few basic tips for making it work:

  • Have a well thought out job description that objectively clarifies what knowledge, skills, and duties are required for the available position.
  • Make sure the compensation is in line with the person’s skills. If they are being trained for a job they’re not currently qualified to do, their title, position and wages should be reflective of that.
  • Create a path for their success by giving regular performance reviews and raises inline with their performance.
  • Treat them with the same professionalism you would any other employee.
  • Have a heart-to-heart talk with them about keeping personal and business separate.
  • Provide an opportunity to receive feedback and suggestions for improved workplace dynamics. Open lines of communication need to flow both ways to create mutual trust and respect.
  • Even though they are a friend or relative, consider having them sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect your business.

Employing a close friend or relative can help you grow your business as long as you’re willing to offer them the same workplace professionalism that you would extend to any other worker. Plus, having someone who has your back can go a long way in the success of your business.