Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 13 seconds
As a follow-up to a Q&A I saw here last month: What about doing business with someone who's already a friend? Or a family member? We once hired a friend to do some remodeling work on our home. That all worked fine - he was professional, we paid him on time! But some friends of ours hired a friend to do some remodeling on their home and it ended up being a very sticky situation."
Sharon has a great question. And I'm really glad that, when she did hire a friend for remodeling, it worked out for her...
...and it can work for others, too. If you do it right.
There are a lot of reasons why things might go wrong when hiring friends, but most of them boil down to not treating it as a business relationship.
Here's what I mean:
- Hiring a friend because they're a friend is a bad idea. Hiring them because you're confident that they can do a good job with the work that you need - now that makes more sense.
- Not having clear expectations is normal in a friendship (friendships are very dynamic and fluid), but very problematic in a business relationship. So if you hire a friend, make sure there's a very clear understanding of what's expected, and how things are going to work.
- Related to the first point, people sometimes think they can skip the whole hiring and vetting process because they "already know the person". Again, this is problematic, because knowing someone socially doesn't always give you a sense of how well they'll do a job, and what it will be like to work with them. So make sure to validate that they're a good fit, and starting off with a small project (as opposed to a full-scale job) can be a good way of testing those waters.
Now, given all this, you might wonder whether it's even worth the risk?
And the answer is (of course) that it depends; it depends on the people, and how much value you think they can bring to your organization. Don't do it *just* because they're friends, but if you think they'd be really great, and you're ready to validate that, don't let the fact that you're friends stop you.
Danny did exactly that when he brought his wife Bhoomi onto the team. Bhoomi is great to work with and a great asset to Firepole.
Now, all that being said, I know that this is a very loaded question and issue, so if you've got an opinion or experience that you'd like to share, hit reply and let me know!