There’s no doubt about it: finding new, high potential talent to hire can be a bit daunting.
A ton of factors are at play beyond just resumés and recommendations. You need to make sure you hire a trustworthy person who learns quickly, does their job well, and gets along beautifully with you and the rest of your staff – almost always a tricky task, even under the best hiring conditions.
This is where a lot of entrepreneurs fall into the same trap: They decide to take the “easiest option”, and hire someone they know – a friend, family member, acquaintance from church, etc. Have you ever done that? I get it – people in your immediate circle are your “low-hanging fruit”. And besides, it’s much better to bring someone you already know on board, rather than a complete stranger… right?
Does it work on occasion? Sure. But most of the time, it’s a recipe for disaster. How the story unfolds depends on the entrepreneur and employee. However, before long, most business owners end up feeling trapped and restricted because of this “easy” hire.
Because while hiring a neighbor or your college BFF might seem like a no-brainer at first, it can get messy when it comes time to discipline or fire them. That’s why I share this critical hiring tip with my clients, and everyone I discuss hiring with: Do NOT hire anyone without first imagining what firing them will be like! Don’t let this all-too-common error go down in your business. To avoid a stumbling block, try asking yourself these questions before you approach someone from your immediate circle.
1. Am I willing to let this person go if it doesn't work out?
The freedom to take charge, enforce discipline, and just accept if a particular employee isn’t a fit is essential to a happy team and well-run business. If you hire a friend, you risk holding back on making the right decision in order to save their feelings.
2. Will they be treated like every other staff member, or do I risk favoring them (even subconsciously)?
It’s easy to give preferential treatment to someone you know personally. So check in with yourself to see if you’re really willing to treat them like you would any member of your staff.
3. If they’re a friend or family member, will working together affect my relationships outside of the workplace?
Don’t forget: should things go south, there will be more fallout than a simple office conversation. Are you ready to handle that? Remember: despite the fact you might respect your family member or friend deeply, the workplace presents a completely different environment – one that may not be the right fit for that person.
Next time you need to hire someone, don’t let yourself mistake the easiest option for the best fit. You’ll save your business a ton of potential trouble – and your conscience in the process!
If you’re still struggling to piece together your hiring process, don’t worry: I’ve made it easier for you. Join our mailing list to get your copy of our New Hire Checklist. It contains a step-by-step guide on finding, recruiting, and hiring the best talent for your team!
Rikka Brandon is the author of the best-selling book Hire Power: Everything Entrepreneurs Need To Know To Hire Awesome People. She’s the creator of the Hire Power Program, an online program designed to help small businesses build a rock-solid recruiting strategy and stop settling when they hire. She’s the Founder of RikkaBrandon.com and Building Gurus. Rikka is the go-to girl for growth-minded entrepreneurs and forward-thinking business leaders and is considered as the USA’s Top Hiring Expert for Small Businesses.