5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Employ Your Friends

Updated on August 28, 2016
Lesley Hayes profile image

Lesley write articles whilst sitting on her yacht in the Caribbean and sipping rum cocktails..

5 reasons why you shouldn't employ friends
5 reasons why you shouldn't employ friends | Source

You’ve landed a great job. You’re in management now. Or you’ve started your own business. You’re not sure about the others working for you, and they are not sure about you. They were happy with the ways things were and now you’re here to upset the apple cart. Or, they just don’t think you’re a very good manager. Wouldn’t it be great to have a couple of allies about the place? You know that a couple of your friends are not happy at work. Maybe you should offer them a job. You get along well; you see eye-to-eye. Plus, it’ll feel great to be able to give your friend a job!

Hold that thought! Having experienced workplaces where the management have actively recruited friends, and in one case, even his girlfriend, I can tell you that this could be a very bad idea. Sure, for some it may work well; as long as your friend has the skill set needed for the job, and you have mutual respect for each other as colleagues, not as friends, during office hours. However, based on my observations, there are 5 good reasons why you shouldn’t employ your friends



Are you friends or colleagues? Can you and your pal handle a boss/employee relationship? You don’t want your other staff, the ones you are desperately trying to win over and gain their respect, to hear about your drunken antics and other sorry tales your friend has to tell. Also, you will know stuff that is supposed to confidential. After a couple of beers, you can’t be shooting your mouth off to your amigo about his/her colleagues.

Giving Criticism

Being a boss means that sometimes you have to tell it how it is, and that means if someone isn’t pulling their weight, not doing their job or doing it but doing it badly, they need to be told. Can you do this to your friend? Honestly? They’re your mate after all. Acting like their boss may change the whole dynamic of your relationship outside of work. And, as friends, you may tolerate their weaknesses/mistakes more than you would with regular employees.

Yes Men

There may be an implicit agreement in hiring a friend that they will sing from the same hymn sheet as you and back you up. Maybe you are having battles with your inherited or existing workforce and you hope having someone on your side will help you push through changes that you want. All sounds good? Maybe there is resistance towards your ideas for good reason. Maybe your ideas are crap. Maybe having “yes men” around you will only enable you to make changes that are not good for your business.

Yes Men

Friends won't tell you the truth
Friends won't tell you the truth | Source

Have you had any disastrous friend/colleague experiences?

See results

Taking the Piss

A common problem, for a few reasons. They know you outside of the work arena. They maybe get drunk with you, tell bad jokes, chase women/men…whatever friends do! You’re not really their boss, you’re their mate. He/she won’t mind if I’m late, they knew I was out partying last night. I’m here to help them out of a tight spot, they won’t mind if I sit at my desk on Facebook all afternoon. I’m doing them a favour; they can push the deadline back a little. It happens, I’ve witnessed it. The biggest problematic relationship I’ve had as a freelance writer was going through the boss’s friend. My work was done on time but the boss didn’t know that because his friend wasn’t responding to my emails in a timely fashion, and the content wasn’t making it onto the website. And who got the blame?

Motivation or Don't Give a Damn
Motivation or Don't Give a Damn | Source

Effect on Other Employees

What do you think your other employees think about you and your friend's work relationship? Do you think it makes them happy? Or do you think they see that your friend is taking the piss and getting paid? That they are not doing their job properly but don’t get pulled up for it? Or that they are getting preferential treatment? Having lunch with the boss? It is just going to cause resentment and bad feeling. Also, it implies you are weak if you feel the need to surround yourself with allies. If you are trying to get your existing staff to respect you, this is not the way to go about it. And they will hate your friend!


The easiest way to manage employing people you know is to not do it in the first place. Keep your friendship outside of work and you may keep your friends, and your professional integrity.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 lesley hayes


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)