Don’t hire friends or family

Don't hire friends or family membersIf you own a law firm, you might inevitably have friends or family ask for jobs at your law firm.  The thought is that this is a friend or family member.  They know you.  You know them.  That will equal trust.  And that trust will equal a great employment relationship.

Even if friends and family members are not coming to you, you might have a job opening come available at your law firm.  You might know of a friend or family member who is looking for employment.  They may or may not even be qualified for the job opportunity.  But in an effort at helping them out, or avoiding the process of posting job ads and interviews, you forego it by hiring a friend of family member.

In the end, with very rare exceptions, you really should not hire friends or family members.  Once you’ve hired that friend or family member, you then assume the role of a boss.  When you become a boss, versus a friend or family member, all kind of bad things can invariably happen.  Ultimately, all of these items might end up in a poor work being completed and the relationship damaged.

Why you ask?  In the end, friends and family members rarely like being given instructions from another friend or family member.  Many don’t like instructions from a boss who is not a friend or family member.  But when the boss if the friend or family law member, matters get even worse.

Friends and family members do not generally take instructions and direction well from another friend or family member.  Further, if you own your law firm, your finances are on the line.  For the friend or family member that is just an employee, that isn’t the case for them at all.  They can generally walk and not be responsible for the law firm itself.

That leads to a dynamic where the friend or family member who is the owner is going to have more at stake than the friend or family member who does not.  It also can lead to a dynamic where the friend or family member can feel as if they should be treated differently than other employees.  As it relates to various policies and procedures, they may think they don’t apply to them.  After all, they are a friend or family member.  If you try to apply it to them, the friend or family member is probably not going to like it.  This can lead to a dynamic where the relationship can be harmed with this friend or family member.

On the other hand, if you let the friend or family member skate on the rules because they are a friend or family member, this is equally as bad.  This can lead to a dynamic where other employees might resent that the friend or family member seemingly does not have to abide by policies and procedures when others have to do so.

You also have to ask yourself how this may end?  At some point, the friend or family member is likely going to resign and take employment elsewhere at some point.  Or, at some point, you might become unhappy and let that friend or family member go.  How is that going to look in the future as it relates to your relationship with that individual?

If you still think hiring a friend or family member is a good idea, ask yourself why?   Unless it’s a very unique situation, post that job ad and engage in an interview process.  Hire somebody who is simply qualified for the job after a thorough vetting process.  Let those friends or family members gain employment elsewhere.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

 

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