I don't see anything wrong with hiring members of my family

Some people say that they couldn’t work with anyone in their family, that they would find it too awkward or weird. 

Other people are adamant that hiring members of your own family is nepotistic and unfair.

I couldn’t think any differently. I actually believe having family members work for you has many benefits – and I should know.

In my business, See Changes, I bring on my dad as an associate when I can and employ my son and niece in permanent positions. I’m hoping to recruit my aunt to become my PA next.

Not only are they three of my hardest workers, they’re all amazing at their jobs.  

I’m the fifth generation in our family to work for transport and railway companies – at one point, me, my dad, Jim, and my brother, Chris, were all working for Network Rail on different floors of the same building.

In 2013, I’d just been promoted when my dad was transferred to my team. We’re both quite relaxed, so I had no qualms about working with him, but I had one question to ask of my boss.

‘Please don’t make me manage my dad,’ I pleaded. ‘I’ve never seen Mum make him do anything he doesn’t want to do in 40 years, so I have no chance.’

I had no idea at the time, but he told me, years later, that he’d gone to the same woman and had a similar conversation, asking not to be managed by me!  

It was those similarities that made us a really good fit for the three years we worked alongside each other. We had the same sense of humour, so would often have to avoid catching each other’s eye in meetings to stop from laughing if anyone said something that tickled us.

But on a more serious note, it was great to have my dad around to ask for his technical expertise and to have someone I trusted and could rely upon completely. Plus, I could speak to him honestly.

Eventually though, in 2018, I decided to set up on my own and give consulting a go. And I absolutely loved it.

And of course, whenever I needed an associate, the natural person for me to turn to was my dad. I knew how good he was at his job.  

I was always honest with clients, ensuring they knew that we were related – but it’s such a small world, lots of people in our industry are related. They usually just laugh.  

After 18 months, the business was doing so well, I was able to start outsourcing work.  

Then, in 2020, the pandemic hit.

My son, Declan, was going back to college to study to be a head chef – and with social restrictions, restaurants closed indefinitely. At the same time, I had to digitise a lot of my work to keep going – something that certainly wasn’t my speciality.

‘Why don’t you give it a go, just for a couple of months?’ I offered him. I figured if I was going to be supporting him financially, he may as well be doing something useful!

Many of the projects I work on involve sensitive material that needs a high level of trust. With family, I already have that

And right from the start, it worked. What was taking me a day to do would take him an hour – and it looked far better. I knew he’d be able to do the creative side, but he picked up the technical side really quickly, too. I was impressed as a boss as well as a mum.

‘You can leave the job any time you want, I won’t fall out with you,’ I reminded him regularly. ‘You’re not a hostage.’

However, rather than leaving, Declan took to his new role immediately – so much so, I even paid for him to go on a graphic design course.

Of course, it’s not all smooth-sailing and he finds it frustrating when I ask him to do things for clients that he knows won’t work. I have to explain to him that we have to do it anyway, show them why it won’t work – then offer a different solution.

Then, when my niece, Eireann, turned 14, she mentioned she was thinking of getting a part-time job, helping small businesses with their social media. That was when it struck me – I could do with that help. So now, we create content for our social media and she uploads it.

Over the months, she has even expanded her role and helps with admin. Of course, being so young, I give her very specific instructions and she only works five hours a month for us, which she can do flexibly over the weekend.

Getting involved has sparked her interest in industry and, having seen other people in their 20s build their way up in my business, she’s keen to do the same.  

Now, even my younger nephew is asking for a job when he is old enough – and I’ve promised him I’ll have something for him.

Of course, we don’t just work together, we play together too. We get together for big dinners and go on holiday a couple of times a year. We’re so close. I just feel sorry for my mum!

In so many ways, having family working for you really is the best option. Many of the projects I work on involve sensitive material that needs a high level of trust. With family, I already have that.

Of course I wouldn’t hire just any member of my family for any job – to be successful, you have to have the right people doing the right role. I’m currently trying to persuade my aunt to come onboard as my PA, as she’d be fantastic at it!

Although we’re a corporate business, a lot of our clients like the family-feel of my company.

And so do I.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected] 

Share your views in the comments below.

Source: Read Full Article