When it comes to hiring employees within your business are your hiring decisions intentional, well planned, and production based, or are you simply hiring out of obligation or desperation?

Let’s talk about one of the most common hiring pitfalls that occurs when hiring our frontline employees. This pitfall happens when we’re fueled by obligation and desperation instead of intentionality: hiring family members.

There are those who believe you need to find a position for family members in the business without giving this decision much serious thought. I have even heard the following rationale when asked why a family member is employed in the business: “It is in their DNA!” “Momma is a nice person!” “My son in law needs a job, and I can keep an eye on him!” “My daughter can answer the phone; we all know she lived on one in high school!” “My aunt is as honest as they come!” Sound familiar?

Hiring a family member always presents its own set of challenges. This becomes more evident if they are not trained to perform the role for which they were hired (sometimes appointed) to execute. It can also quickly become a problem if the individual does not want to do the job. What happens if their performance is lackluster, or more simply put, they are missing the mark? Having to hold your family members accountable for their performance can be awkward when the last name is the same. Things can get messy quickly!

Imagine trying to respectfully explain to your mother-in-law she is not booking enough calls or telling your own father that his tone is not empathetic enough. If you think those are difficult, go ahead and mention to your spouse that you feel like they have been short-changing the process and failing to prioritize opportunities in the proper manner. Let me know how the drive home feels and how this works out for you! Accountability conversations are tough enough without factoring in bloodlines. What happens if these tough conversations spill over to the holiday family dinner table or the next get-together?

Let me make myself clear: I am not opposed to hiring family members! In this industry, I have witnessed many companies, which are both family owned and operated, become successful, happy, cohesive business units. Executing this plan flawlessly does indeed take dedication to the next level. All I’m asking is that more thought and planning is put into the hiring process than in the past.

Firm expectations and goals need to be clearly communicated upfront and in writing. The focus also should be placed on proactive and continuous training, which should be a normal practice with any successful employee. Another point is making sure the candidate has the capacity and the desire to perform the job at hand. With any great employee, a “can-do” attitude is imperative, and we want to make sure conversations are addressed directly and with respect. The final component to making your business a successful, cohesive, family affair is to follow through with the consequences if goals or expectations are not achieved.

Publication date: 11/8/2017

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!