Small Business HR: Know What You Need When You Hire Family

by Michael Haberman on March 18, 2011 · 1 comment


I made a presentation the other day to a group of people who own or work in small businesses. Since I work with helping many small businesses with their human resources I have a presentation on the Top 5 HR Mistakes that Small Business Make. I wrote about this in 2010. You can look here if you want to know all the mistakes.

The first mistake I talk about is not hiring the right person. Many small business owners hire someone just because they know them or because they are a family member. They do this without really knowing if the person is qualified to do the job. They have no idea what knowledge, skills or abilities (KSA’s) are necessary for someone to be successful in the job. I think it is important, correction, critical for you as a business owner to understand what it is going to take for the individual to be a good match for the job. You need to sit down and write a job description outlining what will be done and what KSAs are needed to do it.

The next step is to then actually interview the person to determine they have what you are looking for, or at least have the native ability to successfully accomplish the job. As I reached this point in my presentation someone in the audience asked my “How do you interview your wife?” My response was “very carefully.” The point I was trying to make was that don’t just assume that someone will be a good fit for a job. They may not want it. They may be unsuited for it. They may hate it, and subsequently hate you for making them do it. So save yourself some heartache and do a more diligent job of hiring for you small business even when it is a relative.

Lastly, remember, if you do not get along with them in your personal life you will NOT get along with them in your business life.

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