Is hiring a friend a good idea?
Finding qualified people to hire for your business can be quite challenging for everyone. Moreover, if you are a new entrepreneur and you don’t have previous experience in hiring people, this may become a nightmare. The first thought can easily be to hire someone you already know; a friend you can trust. But are you really prepared to face the consequences? Here are some things to seriously consider before hiring a friend.
1. Are you able to evaluate him/her objectively?
When interviewing someone you don’t know, you can easily be objective and you can examine his/her CV. You can even be hard and demanding. But when reviewing your friend’s work experience and abilities, can you really be unbiased? Or is your judgement clouded by your personal relationship with this person? A serious question you have to ask yourself. It can be really hard to set your feelings aside. You may even consider asking someone else to evaluate him/her and tell you their opinion.
2. Can you separate work from personal matters?
Hiring a friend can be really tricky, since you already have a personal relationship. You need to play completely different roles at work and in your friendship. In the workplace you are the boss, you are the one in command. You are setting the rules that everyone has to follow. You are in charge. In your personal life, roles are completely different, you may be equal or you may even be the weaker member in your friendship, the one who needs help or support most of the times. You may express your fears or you show your weaknesses. You can’t do that as a boss. So, you see that you may face some difficult situations, while trying to separate your friendship from your work. Are you prepared to do that separation? And, above all, can you do that?
3. Is your friend ready to work for you?
You may be able to get over your personal matters and you may switch easily into a boss role. But what about your friend? Can he/she see you as a boss? Will he/she be able to take orders from you? What will happen if you make a remark about his/her work performance? All very serious questions. You should also think about his/her behavior towards the other employees. The fact that he/she is your friend should never become an excuse to perform worse than others or to treat them snobbishly.
4. Can you treat him/her the way you treat other employees?
On the other hand, you should never treat your friend differently than your other employees. Are you prepared to do that? And what will the consequences be in your personal relationship? You have also to consider how you are going to deal with a possible falling out in your friendship. This will make your work relationship very awkward.
5. Are you prepared to lose a friend?
This is the real and most serious question you have to ask yourself. Most of the times, unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to keep a good friendship and a good work relationship. Usually work situations have negative effects on personal relationships, so the most common thing is that you will end up ruining your friendship. Are you prepared to risk this, in order to hire your friend?
After considering all the above, if you decide to go on and hire a friend, make sure to make some things clear from the beginning. Be very specific and clear on what you expect from him/her. You should both be prepared to face some difficult situations and some strong emotions! Work stress can test even the longest and strongest relationships. Can you handle it?
If you asked my opinion, I would avoid hiring a friend. What about you? I will gladly read your comments on the subject!