Hiring a Friend? Don't Commit These Mistakes

There are a lot of things to keep in mind while hiring from your own circle
Hiring a Friend? Don't Commit These Mistakes
Image credit: graphicstock

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India
3 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

When an entrepreneur is building a team, recommendations often pour in from within his/her network. From a long-lost relative wanting their child to be a part of the start-up to sometimes even friends reaching out for possible jobs in the company, founders have to deal with the recommendations with a clear objective – hiring the person who’s best for the company.

But even then there are a lot of things to keep in mind while hiring from your own circle. Entrepreneur India spoke to experts about what to avoid while doing so and how you can ensure your professional objectives aren’t mixed with the personal ones.

Don’t Let Your Emotions Decide

A lot of times people from your close circle could reach out to you for a job, especially when your growth graph is going up. But at times like this, it’s important to ensure that your emotions don’t take over your decision. Praveen Vashishta, Director, Gxpress said that an entrepreneur must abide by the fact that professional and personal life should be kept completely separate because rational thinking cannot be overruled by emotional thoughts.

He added that hiring from the friends' circle just for the sake of keeping a relationship and giving a favor can eventually cost the company. “A success trait of an adroit entrepreneur abstains him from getting influenced by his personal life in the professional journey,” he said.

Don’t Skip Your Usual Recruitment Process

Just because someone is a friend, don’t let him/her get away with an easy recruit. You still have to assess their capabilities and check if they find a fit in your company. Nikhil Barshikar, Founder and MD at Imarticus Learning said that he is extra careful while recruiting friends, as he doesn’t want employees to think that he is favouring someone. “Be it friends or any other potential candidate, they have to meet the same requirements and go through the same process for being recruited,” he said.

Vashishta too agreed with the same and said that recommendation aside; it is the duty of an entrepreneur to assess the candidate only on the basis of his qualifications and professional skills. “The screening, interview, examinations if any and the background checks should be conducted in the same manner considering all applicants equal to maintain the unbiased and genuine hiring process, regardless of the candidate recommended by family or friend or any close ones,” he said.

How Can You Say No?

If the recommendation doesn’t find a fit in the entrepreneur’s company, there’s another awkward position for the entrepreneur – how to say no to the friend. Vashishta believes that the truth is always acrimonious. An entrepreneur must speak truly and bluntly about a recommended candidate whether he fits the job profile or not. “It should be remembered that your teammate can be your friends but your friend may not be your teammate. Thus, however blatant one has to sound, an entrepreneur must stay unbiased on the candidate’s hiring,” he said.

There’s another thing to keep in mind for entrepreneurs here – if they do hire a friend remember to treat him/her equally as your other employees. “If they expect special treatment or take advantages of relation it can again be detrimental for company’s growth and against the code of conduct and ethics of an employer,” said Vashishta.

Latest on Entrepreneur