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5 Reasons Not To Work With Family

Written by: Brendan Beeken


You love your family, right? Well, mostly. But are they people you want to work with? Here are five reasons why maybe you shouldn't employ family and friends.

Businesspeople having a meeting.

Hiring the right team is crucial for any business's success. Unfortunately, bosses sometimes make the mistake of employing the wrong people, including family and friends. This may initially seem like a cost-effective or convenient choice. However, it can present significant challenges that may negatively impact the organisation in the long run. I've run several successful companies, and I'll admit that I’ve made mistakes in recruitment. Here I outline five top reasons to think twice about hiring family and friends.

The dangers of employing the wrong people

Employing the wrong people can severely affect a company's productivity, reputation, and overall success. Ill-suited employees may lack the necessary skills, experience, or motivation to fulfil their roles effectively. This can result in missed opportunities, reduced efficiency, and strained team dynamics.

Moreover, the cost of hiring, training, and replacing unsuitable candidates can place a significant financial burden on the business.

The allure of hiring family and friends

When a business owner considers hiring family members or friends, the decision is often driven by trust, familiarity, and the belief that these individuals have a vested interest in the success of the company. Additionally, family and friends may be willing to work for lower salaries or extend leniency during tough times. While this can seem appealing, it's essential to approach such situations with caution.

5 reasons to not hire family or friends

1. Bias and Favouritism

Employing family and friends can create an environment where bias and favouritism influence decision-making. This can lead to resentment among other team members and negatively impact morale and motivation.

2. Difficulty in Addressing Issues

When issues arise with family or friends in the workplace, addressing them can be challenging. Constructive criticism may be met with defensiveness, and resolving conflicts can be more complex due to personal relationships.

3. Lack of Professionalism

Maintaining a professional demeanour can become challenging when working with close acquaintances. Business discussions may spill over into personal settings, blurring the lines between work and leisure.

4. Potential for Miscommunication

In a professional setting, clear communication is vital. However, when dealing with family and friends, assumptions and unspoken expectations can lead to misunderstandings.

5. Accountability Issues

Holding family members or friends accountable for their actions may be more challenging due to the emotional ties involved. This lack of accountability can hinder overall business performance.

4 ways to mitigate challenges

Here are four ways you can deal with the challenges if you do decide to go ahead and employ family members or friends:

1. Transparent Communication

Establish clear expectations, roles, and responsibilities from the outset. Transparent communication can help mitigate potential misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Objective Decision-Making

Avoid making hiring or promotion decisions based solely on personal relationships. Base such decisions on qualifications, skills, and merit.

3. Encourage a Professional Culture

Foster a professional work environment where employees, regardless of their relationship with the owner, are treated fairly and held to the same standards.

4. Seek External Expertise

Consider involving an independent HR consultant or mediator to address conflicts objectively and impartially.


While employing the wrong people or working with family and friends may seem like a cost-effective or convenient option, it can lead to significant challenges impacting business performance and employee morale.

By being aware of these challenges and implementing appropriate strategies, business owners can build a more robust and effective team, ensuring their organisation's long-term success.

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About the author:

Brendan Beeken is an entrepreneur, commercial strategist, investor, philanthropist, and the Founder and Chairman of cryptocurrency social platform and crypto exchange Moni Talks. His success has been many years of hard work in the making, but it was after life-threatening heart failure that he crystallised his experiences, good and bad, into a culture, ethos, vision, and set of values. It was a catalyst to understand what he does and exactly why he does it. His approach allows Brendan to identify what matters in how you behave, and what you hope to see in others. A focus on ethics and clear goals has allowed him to achieve success in multiple sectors and become a respected voice in the business community.



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