To Hire or Not To Hire Relatives or Friends

To Hire or Not to Hire Relatives or Friends?

A lot of people already quit becoming a freelancer or a sole proprietor working at home. Home-based jobs allow you to earn more than just receiving a fixed monthly compensation, and there’s no compelling reason not to share your freelance experiences to your relatives and friends if ever you become successful. However, how would you react if close relatives and friends asked to be hired after they learned about your current earnings while working at home?


The Good and Bad Benefits of Hiring Relatives and Friends

When you work as a freelancer, you are not necessarily bounded to any business policy or committed to a specific employer. You get to work as an independent worker or contractor paid to deliver a completed job whether you are working alone or with a team. Hiring friends or relatives to work with you may seem like a perfect idea, but it may potentially put you at risk of developing relationship issues someday. Though you always want to hire the best person for the job, you shouldn’t forget weighing the pros and cons of hiring the people close to your heart first. Let’s find out below.



1. Working more than just Fellow Freelancers

When you put up a start-up business with family members or friends, you are also working with people you definitely enjoy spending your time with even if you don’t share the same household. This may be a good reason why many freelancers consider joining forces with loved ones and friends in the first place. You may end up working with someone you can view as a business mentor, particularly if the person is more experienced over a specific field of expertise than you do. Besides, a close friend or a family member can be someone you can trust when the emotional side of the freelance work sets in, which may not seem possible if you’re working with people you’re not personally attached with.


2. Enjoying the Flexibility of a Good-Working Atmosphere

Freelance partnerships with close relatives and friends are normally flexible, and the flaws of the operational side are minimal. They are most likely to work around your business decisions since people closest to your life are able to understand the needs of the business, including work deadlines and required skills. This flexibility may allow you to take a day off when necessary or delegate some tasks which can significantly reduce your workload. However, you should also be aware of the possible consequences if you give more favors to a close relative than other team members, so try to treat all fellow freelancers and business partners as equal as possible.


3. Visible Brand Improvement

If your service has remained consistent throughout your freelance journey, expect more people to come and seek for your services. In fact, many clients prefer hiring a family-oriented company because they know that all employees including business partners are practicing the same core values, thus delivering high-quality work outputs in the process. A close friend or a relative can easily learn your business brand quickly since the person can work with you in the same direction. The core values of the brand can be seen in various aspects of the business, resulting in a positive relationship with clients as well as fellow freelancers.


4. Presence of a Strong Professional Relationship and Work Ethic

Employees who are family members or who know each other may share the same goal or work together as a team since they know that their livelihood is always at stake unless they are earning more money from other sources. You may somehow expect to see a stronger working relationship if everyone is willing to make a sacrifice for the company you’re working with. It also seems easier to communicate with close friends and relatives than those you aren’t personally attached to with regard to business objectives and client handling. You may be able to understand (not tolerate) the strengths and weaknesses of your relatives or friends which may benefit your freelance business a lot.


For start-up and small businesses, it’s very crucial that all employees and business partners are able to maintain a healthy communication between one another and with you as well. Therefore, bringing in someone close to you can provide the necessary boost that may considerably benefit your business and the interest of your clients.


5. Providing more Savings for your Business

There’s always a huge possibility that you may save a lot if you have a close relative or a friend who exactly possesses the skills and expertise you’re looking for. Since you already have a close relationship, they might consider the idea of rendering their services for you at an affordable rate, both beneficial for them and your business.



1. Leading to a Tough Talk

Being demanding of your colleagues or employees may seem difficult when you are dealing with people whom you are associated on a personal level. So if you decide to bring in family members or friends to your job network, it’s very important to become aware that you need to be tough on them when deemed necessary since work pressures in a working environment on a daily basis is inevitable. This scenario happens because running a business is always considered a “roller coaster” ride, and new challenges often take place as your business grows. Therefore, there will be times when you can’t afford to stay ‘friendly” especially if you need to make constructive or harsh criticism against their work performance.


2. Lacking in Initiatives and New Perspectives

No business model should remain traditional since you will need more contemporary ideas to help your network grow further. In this context, you need fresh faces and practical minds to create a new concept or resolve any long-standing business problem. It’s always great when everyone shares the same vision, but without someone to introduce fresh solutions, you may run out of strategies on how you can increase your client database.


3. Risk of Developing Familial Indifferences

Striking the appropriate balance between your personal relationship with friends and relatives outside of the workplace is difficult to achieve. If you hire someone whom you share a close relationship with, there’s always a possibility that you and your colleagues may develop misunderstandings or bad feelings towards each other as a result of failing to leave the work conflict where it came from. Relatives or friends are also capable of bringing up the past mistakes to other people when they become upset with you, which may further affect the familial bond. Aside from this, any constant airing of business problems can turn off clients leading to lower sales mark and poor work productivity.


4. Tends to Become Considerate Leading to Low Business Standards

It’s understandable that you don’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone working for you. However, if you fail to address the negative feedback even if it’s already obvious, you’re allowing to create a negative impression from clients against your services. You may become considerate towards your relatives and friends because you care more about maintaining a close relationship rather than focusing on business growth. Instead of criticizing their work mistakes or giving them the right evaluation, you choose to take over their assigned task and just forget the whole thing.


5. The Tendency to Get the Support of your Clients

As mentioned earlier, hiring your relatives and friends may seem like a welcoming idea, especially if you’re looking forward to expanding. However, you should anticipate that some of your relatives or friends will be able to learn the craft as your freelance business moves on. Unfortunately, the people whom you have shared your knowledge and expertise will leave you behind to start a new network, bringing some of your clients with them. In some instances, a close friend or a relative (along with his own network of clients) may become tempted to move to another freelancer or company where his or her talents are more compensated.


Though it can be difficult to establish boundaries, you may still consider acquiring the services of your relatives and friends as long as you all share the same business goals. Here are some hiring suggestions if you decide to welcome them aboard.


  • Make sure that you and your relatives or friends share the same mindset, vision, and work ethic.
  • Hire those who are willing to follow your own rules like several working hours, work deadlines, and dress codes if needed.
  • Avoid putting your friends and relatives to a sensitive job position they are not qualified for.
  • Maintain the right balance, whether to help or not to help your relatives or friends during difficult financial times.
  • Don’t hire your friends or relatives if they will only ask you to give them new clients. They are likely to perform poorly, which may potentially affect your reputation.
  • Your relatives and friends should agree to the working terms first before hiring them. If they are no longer satisfied to work with you, they should also submit a formal resignation letter indicating the effective date and reason for leaving. They should leave your network without any hard feelings.
  • They should be treated fair, and your relatives or friends shouldn’t think that they have special privileges while working for you.
  • Don’t easily give in to their work demands, even if you think that they possess the required technical skills or years of experience.
  • Always check if you and your friends/relatives render the same kind of services or level of work experience. They might be looking for new client connections.


As you can see, there’s no direct answer to whether or not relatives or friends should be employed as part of your team, but it’s still best to weigh the advantages and consequences of hiring them before making a final decision.

Dale Basilla

Owner at Be Visible Media
Dale Basilla is a content writer for various niches, SEO (Off-page & On-Page), and lives in a location where there are lots of beaches in the Philippines. He loves to watch anime, TV series (mystery and solving crimes), and movies. In his spare time, he plays chess, plays the guitar, and spend time with his ever busy girlfriend.

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