Why You Do Not Hire Relatives

A careful explanation with examples why one should not hire relatives. Many business have collapsed or suffered criminal sanction to the actions of a family member who was given a position not based on qualifications but on DNA. So far, there have been no genetic markers to prove that business acumen is genetic.

In a companion article called Legacy Businesses I indicated the dangers of passing a business down the blood line. In many cases the children, spoiled by their easy lives have no business acumen.  They became Chairman when Daddy vacated the Seat, as if it were a monarchy not a company.

This article focuses on today's work place, and the reasons why one should never hire relatives.  

It's a rather negative view of family, but the fact is, you will not send your relatives to prison.  You will try to cover up their mistakes, you will put up with behaviour that is totally unacceptable.  If/When they walk off the job, you can not penalize them. In short, you have given someone authority without accountability. 

Other Employees, aware that this person is your son or nephew or cousin know that in any confrontation, they will lose. Hence they will never reveal what they know about the antics of your 'blood.'  They will quit, they will transfer.  Your best employees will find a dozen reasons why they can't work here any more; but it is only one; your relative.

Many entrepreneurs marry their secretaries and think they are so clever.  Of course, when the marriage ends that secretary gets 50% of the business because she helped her husband earn it.

If you need to help your family, get them jobs with your friends. Take on this one's niece and give him your brother in law. If your friend has to fire him, either you will lose your friend, (especially if your relative is an extremely dishonest person who has caused financial losses) or cement the friendship.  Further,  where your relative proved to be simply an idiot, you've fulfilled your familial obligations of offering assistance.

To be successful there must be no 'Untouchables' in your company.  It is one thing to bend the rules a bit for a faithful 30 year employee who made an honest error; it is another to protect your nephew from going to prison.

If you are going to bring in your 'successor' start him with a broom and treat him, during working hours, as a stranger.  When your supervisors and managers don't know the new bus boy is your son you will get a more honest assessment.  As he works his way up in the corporate ladder, you might be fortunate; one of .0001%  who hasn't filed for bankruptcy because of family employees.


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