February 2010, Volume #55

Let's face it, hiring employees can be difficult.  Thus, small business owners often default to the path of least resistance by hiring friends and family.  Read on for tips on how to make objective hiring decisions when hiring people you know.

Ann Clifford, President

Dos and Don'ts
Can you hire one candidate over another simply because you like them better?

See answer provided below.

Hiring Friends and Family
When starting a new business, entrepreneurs often reach out to their friends and family as their first source of employees.  It is natural to hire people who we trust and who believe in us.  And, sometimes hiring friends and family makes sense.  Yet consider these potential pitfalls before you commit to hiring a close friend or family member:

Potential Pitfalls:

  • Skills may be mismatched for the position.
  • Discipline and terminations are emotionally difficult.
  • Favoritism may cause issues with other employees.
  • Lack of separation from personal and business life.

    The "Likability" Trap
    Have you ever hired a candidate just because you felt a personal connection?  Take caution when hiring someone based solely on "likeability."  Ask yourself the following questions to be sure you have not overlooked weaknesses in a candidate.

  • Have I evaluated the candidate's past work history thoroughly, including specific responsibilities and accomplishments?
  • Have I used assessments to evaluate skills and behaviors?
  • Have I had an objective third party interview the candidate?
  • Blog Discussion
    Avoid mistakes in hiring friends as sales professionals by evaluating two essential criteria.

    Safari Interview Tip
    If you are emotionally invested in a candidate, ask them to meet with an impartial third party.  Whether you chose a Safari Consultant, trusted business advisor, or a manager from your team, a neutral party may provide insights that you may not uncover yourself.

    Safari Success Story
    Safari Solutions recently helped a client search for an Account Manager.  The client received referral candidates from their network in addition to sourced candidates from the open market.  Safari Solutions' objective Tiger Eye Hiring process evaluated each candidate consistently and the best candidate was chosen.

    Did You Know
    Seventy-nine percent of small-business owners surveyed have hired a friend or family member.  Twenty-two percent said this was a bad decision.

    Safari Quiz
    What percent of hiring managers use social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace to investigate candidates before making a hiring decision?

    A.  7%
    B.  23%
    C.  45%
    D.  68%

    Answer to Today's Dos and Don'ts
    Can you hire one candidate over another simply because you like them better?

    Several intangibles will play a part in your decision to hire an employee.  As long as your own personal prejudices are not directed toward people in a protected class, it is reasonable to consider whether you "like" or would "enjoy" working with a particular individual.  However, in all hiring decisions, it is essential that the person hired is well qualified for the position.

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    Safari Solutions' recruitment process outsourcing services help companies hire better. Acting as a corporate HR partner, we help companies make educated hiring decisions by sourcing, screening, and evaluating candidates with a high level of due diligence. Over 250 business owners have improved hiring results using Safari Solutions' Tiger Eye Hiring™ process.

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