Hiring Family Members
Hiring relatives is usually a recipe for disaster, especially if the relative has no relevant skills. But sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation.
In family businesses, a common challenge is a requirement to hire relatives who you would not hire if they were not related to you.
We are talking about your having to hire relatives who lack an aptitude for the business, and, for that matter, lack any apparent usable talent or skill.
Nonetheless, it's very tough to go up against the family pressures and not give the relative a job. There are times when you simply cannot say no.
Accept the challenge with your eyes open. It will be difficult to fire this relative even if his or her employment costs the company more than it earns. If you don't play your cards right, hiring a relative could demoralize other employees if he or she loafs on the job, avoids unpleasant tasks, takes special privileges or otherwise exhibits a poor attitude.
Training this particular relative may require extra effort, but few people are totally unskilled.
Give it your best shot to convert your relative into a valued employee. Here are a few things you should try to do:
- Endeavor to cultivate a talent the family member possesses that will contribute to the business.
- Provide special training.
- Assign the relative to special projects to reduce negative contact with other employees and to provide an opportunity for developing skills.
- Arrange for the relative to work under a nonfamily supervisor who is a top producer.
Remember, the key is to transform the untalented, minimally skilled relative into a productive employee, as quickly as possible.
If you do your job well enough, you might even be lucky enough to have another company recruit your relative away from you.
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