Benefits and drawbacks of hiring family members for your small business

By Sandeep Agrawal

Involving people in business who are not just close to you but people who you can also trust can seem like a perfect scenario. But sometimes, forming a professional relationship with family members may end up making your life much more difficult.

Though hiring family members is not always a misstep, there are certain things you need to consider before hiring a family member as an employee or making them a business partner.

Therefore, it’s critical that you think carefully about the outcomes of hiring a family member in your business.

That being said, what’s a better way to determine if you should hire a certain family member or not than a classic pros and cons list.

After all, what is family for if you cannot lean on, especially when you need an extra pair of trustworthy hands on short notice?

With that in mind, let’s look at the benefits & drawbacks of hiring family members.

Benefits of hiring family members

– They’re incentivized to perform well

As long as you have a good relationship with the family member you’re considering to hire, they’re likely to do the best possible job to show their loyalty.

Unlike a regular employee, they won’t slack off or cause a conflict with you. This is mainly because looking bad to a boss is one thing and disappointing a family member who trusted them with a job is much worse.

– They’re more committed

When it comes to hiring an employee, it is crucial that the candidate has relevant experience, skills, and aptitude. But when you hire a family member, they might not have one of these things, but one thing that’s much more important to have in an employee is the commitment towards working hard or going the extra mile.

Like I said earlier, when you hire a family member, they will be incentivized to perform well as your relationship with this person will be enough to keep them motivated when the going gets tough, which is extremely valuable.

– They’ll have skin in the game

When you hire a family member in your business, their financial success will often depend on your business. That means when the business will do well, you’ll both benefit from it. This can also be a powerful motivator for the family member you’re hiring.

Drawbacks of hiring family members

– They may expect special privileges

When the boss is a relative, employees are tempted to assume that they’ll receive certain special privileges due to their relationship.

These special privileges usually include failing to show up on time or taking extra-long breaks.

Now, of course, this kind of behavior can often lead to losses in business or more importantly, it might disgruntle other employees.

Therefore, it’s necessary to set certain conditions before make hiring a family member.

– Your relationship may suffer

When you hire a family member, you give them an opportunity. But oftentimes, involving family members in business might not work out. And when that happens, when you and your family member can’t make your professional relationship work, you will end up with only one viable option – fire them or they might end up quitting.

This can permanently damage your relationship with this person and make lead to an awkward situation from time to time. For example, just think about all the family events and holidays when you will still have to spend time with them.

– Managing a family member becomes tricky sometimes

Outside of business, your family member is your peer, but at work, you’re his/her boss. And when there is a negative behavior from their end or when they are not working in the best interest of your business, it can become extremely tricky to confront them.

The desire to avoid hurting their feelings or to avoid family conflict makes managing a family member tricky. Therefore, it’s recommended that you practice clear communication and expectations so that it doesn’t become a serious liability.


Family members, most of the times, turn out to be fantastic employees who are personally invested in your business. The biggest challenge, however, when hiring family members will be drawing the line between family and work.

My advice is, hire a family member only if you’re certain that they would be good at the job, will respect your authority as the boss, and will work well with the rest of your team.


Sandeep Agrawal has more than two decades of experience in creating world-class teams and driving innovation through cutting edge products and mobile app development solutions. He is passionate about creating new technology solutions and delivering “great customer experience” by evangelizing “ubiquitous mobility.” Being the CEO of CredencysMobile App Development Services Company, Sandeep helps clients to bridge the execution gap with services including consulting, design and architecture, product strategy, software development, and managed services. With a motto of ‘Go Digital’, Sandeep delivers an extraordinary customer experience to every client. Connect with Sandeep at or via LinkedIn.

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