Should I Hire a Relative?

woman interviewing man in office

You may not be able to choose your relatives, but thank heavens, you can choose your employees. The question is, should you choose to hire a relative?

Imagine if I told you there’s a potential job candidate out there who requires no background check, no references, no interview, and you already know they are reliable and easy to interact with on a daily basis. Then let me top it off by saying this person will strive for the success of your company because they genuinely want you to succeed.

It’s no wonder it’s so tempting to hire a family member.

But also imagine there’s a potential job candidate out there who will feel more entitled than their coworkers, expect special treatment, and share your secret personal problems with other employees. And worse, any time you praise or promote them, their colleagues will cry favoritism and morale will suffer.

It’s no wonder so many business owners regret hiring a family member.

You’re the only person who can decide which way this will go, and it all depends on you, your business, and the exact relative you’re choosing to hire.

Before Hiring, Look for Red Flags

If they are expecting special consideration during the hiring process, they will likely expect it on the job too. If you’re hiring them as a favor, you’re being a friend and not a business owner. If you can’t picture how you would fire this person if it ever came to that, it will be just as awkward reprimanding them.

The most important consideration about hiring a family member is that you hire them for the right reasons—the same reasons you would hire any other person: they are the best candidate for the job.

After Hiring, Set Expectations

If you decide to hire a relative, it’s best to set expectations and limits from the outset. Consider having all employees sign these guidelines as a way to ensure policies are clear and equal with no special consideration given to family.

Once things are running smoothly, enjoy the fact that your small business is now a family business.


Adam Lucas holds a Finance degree and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. His work has appeared in many major outlets including and