The Pros and Cons of Hiring Relatives of Employees

If you know someone with a relative in a powerful position at a multi-million-dollar company, they’d probably tell you that nepotism is great. But is it really? Is hiring your employees’ relatives beneficial to a company or is it just asking for trouble? The answer is a clear “it depends.” That’s because it comes with potential risks and rewards.

In the “pro” column, there are a few reasons why this can prove advantageous. These include:

People may work harder knowing a loved one vouched for them

Most of us don’t like to let others down, especially when we see them at family dinners. Knowing a relative put their neck on the line to advocate for the hiring of their brother or cousin provides extra incentive. It may be all that is needed to turn a decent employee into a great one.

We’re still scared of our mothers

No matter how old we get, we’re still scared of our mothers. Normally, when someone slacks off at their job, mommy dearest won’t find out. But if relatives work together, all bets are off. The threat of getting “tattled on” can leave employees kicking things into high gear.

People work harder for coworkers they like

It’s well established that coworkers who like each other put in more effort than those who don’t. Not all relatives like each other, but if someone asks you to hire their sister or aunt, the relationship is probably solid. This translates into a stronger bottom-line.

The aforementioned doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea to hire the relatives of your staff members. In the “con” column, a few red flags can’t help but wave. These include:

People goof off with coworkers they like

Sure, people work harder when they like each other, but they play harder, too. Brothers and sisters working together may cross that line and end up costing you. There’s always a chance that they’ll spend more time in the breakroom than what is fair or necessary.

Forgoing in the hiring process is risky

If you’re hiring the relative of a worker, odds are you’re not putting them through as rigorous a hiring process as you normally would. Unfortunately, this can end up biting you in the assets, especially if you hire someone not actually qualified for the position.

Family squabbles are inevitable

Everyone who has a family knows that family ties are sometimes wound a bit too tight. In short, family is why therapy was invented. When you hire a relative of a worker, you don’t guarantee conflict, but you open yourself up to that possibility.

Relatives working together comes with both positives and negatives. Ultimately, you have to balance the risks with the rewards and decide if you’re willing to take a chance on genetics.

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