Employing friends and family

When starting businesses it is very tempting to take shortcuts when employing team members.

Often I hear the requirement to use a quick fix or make do with a warm body that doesn’t have much experience in the area, but can learn on the job. That is a major compromise and usually fails pretty quickly. If it doesn’t fail in the short term, longer term you find you have to change the organisation around the compromises you have made in the recruitment cycle – that’s bad enough.

In my opinion the worst example of this is employing friends and family. I am totally against it 100%. The relationship of involving friends is hard enough, as usually working with friends is difficult enough. I am always keen to work with people that I have had a great and productive business relationship with in the past, but that’s business it’s not friendship.

It creates a difficult management decision and sends mixed messages to staff. I don’t want to discipline or fire someone because they are the founders brother or family member.

Most investors have a catch all for this during due diligence that at least it gets disclosed, better not to do it in anyway if possible.

I have had experience of this in the past and I say just don’t do it!

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