Why You Should Never Hire Your Friends

Inc. Southeast Asia:

2. Do not hire your best friends as employees
“Building a company with your good friends is a very good idea if everybody is equal,” Trikalitis says.
This does not apply to co-founders, but to hiring close friends as your employees. The moment best friends enter into a boss-employee setup, the working relationship becomes complicated. In friendship, you’re equal, but now, your friend has to report to you. And because the two of you had an existing bond, it becomes difficult to draw the lines between friendship and work.

“And that is how friendships fall apart, and can never be mended again,” she says.

In Out There Media, this has happened about three times already, Trikalitis shares. And in those instances, people who used to be good friends have now stopped talking to each other.

Trikalitis adds, “So it is better to keep your good friend, and hire a professional or a person that might be some friend and a professional, but not one of your best friends.”

Two of my very close friends are working for me and are doing a fantastic job. We have great relationship that is mutually beneficial both personally and professionally. It’s not a walk in the park, of course. It’s a combination of setting the correct expectations and having a mature mindset to make it work.

Have the “talk” with them. First things first. Before getting them on board, make sure to be upfront about working professionally would mean acting differently with each other. Make them accept that uncomfortable situation is part of the relationship.

Always wear the right “hat” when interacting with them. Around work environment, your main objective is to get things done, nothing personal. If you stick with this philosophy, working with them will be smoother: you do not have to worry on accidentally hurting their feelings. When socializing with them outside work, be mindful of your actions. Never boss around.

Show them why they should respect you as a colleague. Friends can act comfortably around each other because they usually don’t care what each other does–which is great. However, inside the office, show them that you mean business. Show them how good you are with what you do. They’ll respect you for that and further improve your relationship.