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Would you hire your friends?

  1. May 7, 2010 #1


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    The question is simple: If you needed a job done for you, any job, would you hire friends to do it for you?

    As far as my family and friends are concerned, if I had a company and needed to hire someone or had a job that needed to be done... I'd never hire the people I know! Think about it, maybe it's just the people I know, but people complain and secretly half-*** everything that they can it seems! Where am I getting this friend? Glad you asked!

    I've noticed friends always complain about whatever they have to do for a living or their job at the moment or whatever, it's natural. However, sometimes (in my case, often), you hear them talking about how they don't care about the quality of their work, stuff they do for their personal entertainment that hurts the people they work for, how they just want to do something and get it over so they can go do something else... etc etc. Hell, sometimes you are even able to detect that they're just flat out incompetent in what they do. What happens if you have to hire someone you know for a job? Or maybe you somehow are in a position to hire people for your company and a friend wants the job? what do you do?

    For example, what if I needed a new addition put onto a house I recently purchased and I needed some manual labor. Hell, certain parts of my family whos only apparent skills are manual labor, but I wouldn't dare hire them! Except... you're obligated too kinda if they ask... or are you? Maybe I'm just blathering on, but how do you feel about the people you know? Given the people you know and what they do or want to do for a living, would you hire them?

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  3. May 7, 2010 #2
    I once worked with a friend in a biotech startup, and that worked well, but he was uniquely qualified. Working with friends or family for nepotism is bound to end badly I think. Money and love do not go well together.
  4. May 7, 2010 #3
    I know someone who hired a friend Realtor who is just starting out and never made a sale before. Needless to say the whole thing turned into a circus, and a freak show.
  5. May 7, 2010 #4


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    Well...it depends. There, how's that for a precise statement of particulars!

    I do have a few friends whom I wouldn't hesitate hiring. But I would never, no matter how perfect the qualifications, hire a relative. It's just asking for disaster.
  6. May 7, 2010 #5


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  7. May 7, 2010 #6


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    It entirely depends on what I'm hiring for. Of my friends who are likely to apply for any position I might hire for, yes, I would want to hire them. My other friends work in fields beyond my area of expertise, so are not anyone I'd be in a position to hire. Though, I tend to think I've chosen my friends wisely and they are good at what they do.

    Family is different. They are a bunch of incompetent idiots. With the exception of hiring one cousin as a car mechanic, another few if I needed my car towed, and a few relatives who could handle low-level office jobs, no, no way, no how.
  8. May 7, 2010 #7
    I hire a friend to fix my car when it's something I can't do myself. So far it's been 100% successful. This is probably because he's incredibly organized, and a good mechanic, and because I always pay him a little more than he asks for.
  9. May 7, 2010 #8
    Under most circumstances most likely not. I have only a couple friends that I would trust to do a job well. As for the rest of them I know their habits all too well and if I were to hire them on for something they are most likely going to assume that I expect them to be them selves and wont even try to be professional.
  10. May 7, 2010 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Doing business with friends is fine as long as you don't value the friendship.
  11. May 7, 2010 #10
    exactly. Friends and family expect "special treatment".

    If you are hiring, expect half*** work and whining.

    then you get to fire your friend/family member.. does wonders for the relationship!
  12. May 7, 2010 #11
  13. May 7, 2010 #12


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    Five years ago, I hired one of my closest friends (a regular biker-buddy) to sell my house. After some long talks, some soul-searching and some frank appraisals, he and his wife decided to put their renovated old farm-house on the market and down-size, just like my wife and I had done. Our house sold, their house sold, and although they ended up 4-5 miles from us, instead of the 1-2 miles that they had hoped, we got out when the market was strong, consolidated, and made money.

    I have been burned by "friends" before, but there are people that you can trust and ought to trust. Bob fills a doorway and has lots of H-D tattoos on his arms. He also has a ready smile and will be there every time you need him, be it for moving, getting in wood, or other project. He and his wife also donate lots of excess vegetable production to a womens' shelter in our area. Nice people.

    Years back, he and his wife were here well in advance of a large group of bikers from the Quincey/Brockton area. They were cruising back roads and got trapped in a thundershower pattern, and pulled over to let the storms pass. An old couple across the road saw them sheltering under trees and hollered at them them to come over to their place and sit on their porch. The thought that a couple of tattooed, black-leathered bikers would be welcomed onto the porch of an older couple was an epiphany to them. Being given cookies and lemonade while watching the storms pass sealed the deal. They sold their place in Quincey and moved to central Maine within a year.

    Every year, the United Bikers of Maine hold the largest charity drive in the state, to gather toys and gifts for poor kids that will be distributed by the Salvation Army every holiday season. When tens of thousands of bikers rally every year in such a rural state to help kids, the populace tends to look past perception and toward intent.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  14. May 7, 2010 #13
    Heh, you could hire them as janitorial understudies. ;)
  15. May 8, 2010 #14
    I don't think that I would ever hire a friend or family member to work *for* me, unless I didn't really care about the quality of the work and just wanted to be charitable.

    I would and have recommended friends to work *with* me at various companies... but only when I genuinely thought they would do well. And in this case, if they screwed up on the job, I wouldn't have to fire them... :-)
  16. May 8, 2010 #15
    I don't know if it is only about getting rid of them if they turn out to be incompetent. There can be so many conflicts on the work that you don't want to get into your personal life or vice-verse. For similar reasons, dating with coworker is not a good idea.
  17. May 8, 2010 #16
    the trick is to make all payments in beer and pizza
  18. May 8, 2010 #17
    Never. And with family, you're just asking for trouble. Thats a time bomb waiting to happen...
  19. May 8, 2010 #18


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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Yah I think that sums it all up. It sure does seem weird that that is pretty much common wisdom. When I was younger and my family always came to me with computer problems, I'd always put a huge priority on doing everything perfect and doing beyond what they asked for when it came to repairing their computers. Yes, I made the mistake of doing computer work for family. I think the problem is that when you initially work for family, you try to be as helpful to them as possible and in a sense, baby them. When I would fix their computers at first, it was for $20 for a couple days work if I even charged them. A few months later they came back with the same problems. What I think happens is that if people have family to fix problems for cheap, they won't take cautionary steps like people would if they had to be plopping down $200 a day for work at a commercial shop. With friends, it seems to follow the same idea.

    I do wonder if refusing to do work for family/friends has brought them to do things in a more cautionary manner but unfortunately (or not) they don't ask me for help really anymore so I can't tell.
  20. May 8, 2010 #19
    Especially if your co-workers are family! :yuck:
  21. May 8, 2010 #20
    A few years ago my manager asked me if I would help her build a deck on her house because she knew I worked in a carpenter shop in Mexico. I would have been glad to help, but I knew that she expected more than I am capable of so I had to turn her down. I would have been taking advantage of her if I had accepted.

    A few months ago she was insulating her attic and asked me to help. This time she didn't expect any expertise so I agreed to help her. Together we got the job done and had fun doing it. Everything worked out well.

    So I guess my point is that one shouldn't expect their friends to be competent at a task just because they are friends. What I find important is knowing if someone can be trusted not to take advantage of a responsibility they can't deliver on.

    I had a friend who wanted to go to a show with me. So I offered to get tickets and he could pay me back. After I had purchased the ticket he said he didn't want to go to the show. He also didn't want to pay for the ticket I had purchased for him. I ate the loss, but had no problems being friends with him. Still, he is not someone I would trust enough to hire because he avoids personal responsibility. If I offered him a job I would expect him to only be concerned with the benefit to himself, and not concerned with representing his competency or honoring his obligation to complete the job.

    I have no problem with hiring friends, depending on the qualities of the friend. I also have no problem with firing them, but that doesn't mean I won't hang out with them next weekend. Generally, I don't have friendships with people that use friendships as a means to an end. That's more of an acquantance of convenience.
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