The topic of “Would you hire your friend?” came up recently with one of my colleagues. Apparently, we are not the only ones who have addressed this concern. A simple search on Google using the query, “Should I hire my friend?” brought up 12.3 million results.
If you asked me, I would answer “no” without any hesitation. If you look through the first few Google query results, you will find a mixture of “yeses” and “nos.” Rather than adding one more article to Google’s pile, I’d prefer to discuss your readiness.
Before hiring a friend or even a family member, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Have I worked professionally with this person before?
2) Do I have first-hand information about how this person performs on the job?
3) Am I able to visualize myself addressing this person’s performance problems, coming up with solutions to those problems together with this person, holding this person accountable, and, worst-case scenario, firing this person? Can I stomach having these serious conversations with this person?
As someone who would normally say “no” to hiring a friend, if I were to even consider it, I would prefer my responses to ALL of the above questions to be a definite “yes.” However, it is you who must weigh the importance of each of those questions against the type of business you are running. If you are someone who believes in the strength of your relationships over enforcing accountability, maybe you are okay with answering “yes” to only the first two questions before hiring a friend or relative. Once you establish your own ground rules for yourself, you will be better able to navigate this conversation,