Many small business owners must face the reality that their company will affect their personal lives, in more ways than one. I often have clients who visit the Business Resource Center wondering about the possibility of hiring a close friend to work in their office. This is a tough question, especially if they’re just getting started. A good friend who you trust and who you believe will be an asset to your business might be exactly what you need, but it also might mean changes to a friendship you value. Here is a list of ideas for small business owners to consider when making this decision.
- Is your friend qualified for the position? You should never hire someone who is less qualified than another candidate for a position, even if she or he is a friend. You may think that your friend has great potential, but I don’t recommend using your business as the laboratory to find out. This is especially important on the financial and management aspects of your company where accuracy is essential.
- Can you be straightforward with your friend? This may be a factor that can make or break a friendship. Shifting roles that place you in charge may influence your friend’s perception of you. Keep in mind that at the end of the day you are the “boss” and have to run a business.
- How will hiring this friend affect other employees’ morale or the mood of your company? You must consider how this decision could impact other employees or if it might give the impression of favoritism. Remember that perception is reality for many people, and if your staff believes that no matter what they do someone else will always be preferred because of a friendship, this may affect their attitude and overall work ethic.
It’s understandable to want to hire someone you already trust and have a well established relationship with. But when money and friendship mix, it often changes the dynamics of the relationship. If you do decide to hire your friend, make sure your friendship doesn’t interfere with addressing the needs of the business. This rule will help protect both the friendship and the company.
Let Zions Bank’s Business Resource Center assist you with your business needs. Call us for a free appointment at (801) 594-8245. We are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beth Holbrook can be reached at email@example.com.