Recruiting Members of the Same Family

This is usually observed that most of the companies don’t permit to appoint siblings/spouses or other members belonging to the same family especially within the same department. The possible reason could be to avoid any chances of conflicts, favoritism and grouping in the office which can have a negative impact on the overall company’s environment.
However, if such appointment takes place in different departments then it can be of a lesser concern for the employers because they will be working in different divisions, having dissimilar reporting lines with different sets of performance standards to be met. Nonetheless, the pros and cons associated with it should be understood because if it is identified and discussed in advance then there’s a probability that it can turn out to be a positive experience.
Would like to know, what according to you are the pros and cons of recruiting members of the same family in the same department or otherwise? Besides, what factors would you consider if you were given an authority to make a decision under such circumstances?


  • David Gabor

    Salima, I have had to deal with this situation in legal cases on many occasions. I see far too many cons:
    1. If one family member recommends another is it due to loyalty to the family? Is it objectitive? There is the appearance of impropriety.
    2. When one of the family members is not performing at a proper level is it alright to discipline? Would that create hard feelings?
    3. If one family member is terminated, how will the remaining member be viewed within the company?
    4. How would the remaining family member treat the person(s) responsible for disciplining and/or terminating her family member?
    5. What happens when one family member climbs the corporate ladder and either supervises the other family member or has a friend/colleague supervising the other family member?
    These are only some of the potential issues that come into play. While I am not suggesting that the company never hire multiple family members, I do believe that thes points should be considered.

  • Dennis J Morgan

    As Michael Corleone told Vito during a dispute in Las Vegas when Vito stood up for Al Green. Michael stated…. “Vito, Never turn against the family again”.
    Although fictional this one statement depicts what life is all about. It doesn’t matter if there is dispute within the family or against the family; you never turn against the family. Despite the idea of working in the same firm or organization when a family member is judge it affects any other relative employed whether in a different department or not. In people’s minds, you’re stomping on a loved one. You’ve crossed the line. Although nothing may be said from the other family member, work performance may suffer, grudges are created, and loyalty is affected. Business is business as long as you don’t cross the line.
    Watch the rerun’s of George Lopez syndication. One episode shows the Power Brothers testing his loyalty to them. Can he fire his mom from the factory? So they set up a bogus attempt to lay off all the inspectors. He perseveres and does fire her not knowing it was all a bogus attempt to see how much loyalty he has for the firm.
    It’s a tough decision whether you work alongside, with, different departments for or above family. We even see this in family owned businesses. Family working together or near each other has a mutual bond. Their loyalty built within the blood, whether intentional or not. Bad blood between families can easily pull them back together when they see someone getting stepped on. Not to mention if they work for you, they seem to expect a different way of being treated.
    Can you honestly say that you could fire a family member in the heat of best interest of your company? Who comes first in your realm of loyalty? Can you honestly say you wouldn’t be affected if the company took action against a family member?
    Even in court rulings for murder trials (I know I’m somewhat off base but) families know what their family member did was wrong and unforgiveable, but in the end they’re still standing by them. Excuses are made, they didn’t know what they were doing, victims are made to be the guilty parties, and my son would have never done this unless he was provoked. Loyalty to the family.
    I don’t believe family members should work for the same organization. It can become quite complex in many avenues. Many say, we’ve done it, I’ve seen it work. That’s the exception and to every rule there is always that exception, but statistically, it usually doesn’t work. Someone ends up getting offensive, offended, performance suffers, scuttle butt becomes relevant on the floor or within the office, the boss becomes unreasonable, an AH. It really ends up affecting more than just the person who it was intended to effect.

  • Bushra Salahudeen

    My 2 cents
    While it is easy to recruit a family member, it would not be possible to have control and or execute fair treatment…
    —> Inability to implement policies fairly.
    —> Family politics might come into the office.
    —> Chances of emotions overtaking practicality.
    —> Feeling of arrogance over ‘im so and so person’s relative’ fact.
    —> Need for double thoughts when handling confidential information.
    —> Other petty issues, like jealousy/insecurity when one is promoted/recognized.
    and I also have the same opinion in considering referrals…

  • Subhas C Biswas

    In family run organizations, people from same family are inducted at various levels, including highest level. Conflicts occur, groups form – but the trend is continuing for ensuring control and for meeting contingencies.
    Following advantages you have in employing the spouse also:
    1. Same marriage anniversary – if they remain married.
    2. One of them go out for Parent-teachers day – if they have time to bear a child.
    3. Office romance is kept under control – unless both are good at it.
    4. Counseling is easier. Coordination is better. Grapevine is stronger.
    5. Commuting is easier. Long hours in office is not a big issue.
    6. Office Canteen is fully utilized by couples working in the organization.
    7. Maternity and Paternity leaves can be duly compromised.
    8. Productivity is not a major issue. The family grows faster.
    1. Showing off is not much feasible, unless one is keen to play peacock at the sight of partner.
    2. Promotion of one disables the equation at family – especially when the attractive partner or favorite of the boss is promoted.
    3. One’s boss tries to boss other person – family complies under duress.
    4. One uses his/her team to complete task of the spouse.
    5. Team members influences the spouse to impress their boss.
    6. Both takes vacation, normally, at the same time.
    7. If one leaves the organization, other follows quickly.
    8. The family, as a team, can get into serious crime, fraud, or manipulation.
    If given an option, I shall recruit a family on merit of both the members. Select their departments, locations and bosses keeping an eye over the risks involved. I shall check their performance trends and act accordingly.

  • Ramesh Kumar

    Personally, I would not recommend recruiting wife and husband in the same company. If the company is big and they are in different departments, I am OK with them.
    Many times we face a typical situation where people in the same deparment fall in love and get married. In this case I recommend to get one of them transferred.
    The Human Search Engine

  • Maaz Bin Mahmood

    If you are a pure professional, you should have no objection in family hiring OR firing.


    Dear Salima Nasir
    Seasons Greetings
    A very interesting question indeed.
    I can appreciate your concern in asking this question.I know that this is a difficult situation for the organisation may be some years back,now the situation is totally different.
    I want to narrate a case a husband and wife work in the same organisation,same department.Management has seen the outputs of both husband and wife and even started encouraging them.
    They had a son and in the organisation there is a creche which takes care of tiny tots while their parents are on the job.So father,mother,son are all in the same vicinity and well settled.Organisation has no objection at all.
    So the moral of the above lesson is,as long as the organisation knows how to take maximum from its employees,it cares two hoots on these silly,childish norms and fancies.
    On the contrary many organisations prefer to call both husband and wife together for interview and offer them jobs and get maximum output.So all are benefitted.

  • Nay Lin Maung

    what i learned from my friends, he or she has to away from hiring same family members in the same department because different people have different skills.

  • Wallace Jackson

    Is NOT recruiting a familial relation despite being the right fit for the job Discrimination?

  • Daniel Kong

    Not encourage to do so, people will think this is nepotism, it will complicate and even upset your company’s policies…do it when you don’t have other alternatives. Which means the company is prepared and have a way to deal with other staff members’ complaints or grievances.

  • Sarfraz Ahmed

    What I have observed is that siblings/spouses are not allowed in most organizations simply because there is always a fear of sort of lobby system being created. I would rather go against having siblings or spouses in one organization.

  • Suresh Venkata

    Having spouses & relatives working in the same team or department may lead to many conflicts both personally & professionally, I won’t personally recommend such a situation. however it won’t be of any concern if the organization is huge and their is enough room for them to work in different departments which does not share any common interest.

  • Frank Graziano

    I actually had the opportunity to be involved with this same situation in one of my past management positions. During the time I was taking over as Manager, I inherited two employees who were then just dating and thinking of getting married. The mistake I made was allowing them to be part of my same team. Six months later they did marry and we continued allowing them on the same team. It became my worst nightmare ever! If I would have to correct performance issues with one, then the other got involved as well. All this to say I would NEVER allow family members to be on the same team. I don’t see as much of an issue if family members work for the same company as long as they are not in the same department or under the same leadership.

  • The most effective, organized ‘corporations’ are crime cartels/mafia, and they recruit ‘family’ through n through 😛
    Seriously though, it doesn’t work. Family is one thing, business is another. Very few people have the capability to interact with the same person on two different relationship levels, without carrying over bias from one interaction level to the other.
    e.g. husband and wife working together would (normally) spend more time arguing about trivial matters – like the husband looking at a female colleague for too long, or the wife smiling too much at a client during lunch. Similarly, siblings sometimes carry over their living room rivalries into work, which can hardly prove to be productive. All this leaves very little time for actual work ( these examples are kinda exaggerated, but you get the picture).

  • Thamir Ghaslan

    Tricky question and and subjective based on culture.
    Short answer: OK in the middle east, not OK in the west.
    Now an attempt at a long answer why its perceived as more of a pro from a middle eastern perspective.
    PRO: Loyalty.
    CON: Hiring is not merit based and there is no aspiration to move up because positions are reserved for family members.
    Big capital family run businesses are plentiful in the middle east, and make the bulk of the private sector, and a lot are reluctant to turn public through IPOs, many that went public performed worst then when they were privately held family run.

  • Neil Aremband

    I think the ‘pros’ include more loyalty and enthusiasm amongst the family members. It will also encourage more open discussion between them, especially if they work for the same company.
    The main ‘con’ I foresee is family rivalry, where one member of a family may have a better or ‘higher’ position than another. This could lead to friction and cause dissent amongst the family members.

  • dayanand guddin

    I had some intersting experiences on this.
    a) In one of the old foundry where I worked (established in 1960’s) since they did not get the manpower during the initial period, the managment recruited people not only form one family but many of them from same familiy and the same village. The effect used to be disastrous during the death of any family member and marriages. Absenteism used to be 75% !!
    2) While encouraging employment of children of employees in an engineering company it so hapened that the son with a graduation in engineering was placed as a supervisor of the shop where in his father had to work under him as a assembly workman. Son giving daliy work insructions to father!!! Used to be a joke and it was difficult as the Son was specifically chosen for the position beacuse of his qualification and experience in the assembly!!
    The PROs are the reduction in attrition and the same is a double edged sword with instances of both members being compelled to seek out.
    Also just by the human tendancy it creates a kind of inconvenience to know if the spouse are workingin the same unit / department.
    Kind regards
    Dayanand L Guddin

  • Simon Hamer

    I’m proof it is OK.
    In years gone by, I met and married my wife in a High Street Bank in the UK.
    Not only did it mean I was happier at work, my work was checked more carefully as it was typed.
    The real key to making it successful is whether or not the people concerned are collaborators or competitors. We chose to collaborate and were always fiercely loyal to our then employers {shame they could not have been like us} and as such the work done by us was at a better level.
    If however we were intensely competitive in nature, recruiting us in an organisation / department could have created unnecessary time wasting or needless undermining of each others efforts.
    Summary, depends on personality traits.

  • Chris Barton

    Hiring is an objective process.
    You hire people based on their ability, expertise, professionalism and potential, if a member of your family falls into this category and there is not a better candidate, then hire them.

  • Heidi Titchenal

    Sometimes I need extra manpower on a project. If it is short duration I just pull in a family member. If I use my husband, he tends to take over. If I use one of my children we have issues to work through that are similar to the parent/child issues we deal with at home. When I use both of my kids I’ve noticed that they make a great team.
    My husband works with a pair of siblings and they also make a great team.

  • Paul Roberts

    There are very successful companies such as Marks and Spencer and John Lewis that actively recruit family. As the darlings of the stock market is this one policy they have right – I believe so!
    I employ my family and would employ more if the situation arises. The honesty and commitment is beyond doubt and the team is stronger as a result.
    Around 80% of firms with less than 10 employees are family owned and run.

  • Paul Dolan

    I can only comment on my experience. Both myself and my wife work together. In the beginning for about a year, we found it very difficult to agree on certain areas and sometimes patience wore out. However, we invested in ourselves to develop our working relationship. Now, we work excellently together. Both our mindsets are focused on the business and we are not slow to keep each other in check. If a husband and wife are professionaly minded and are able to detach work from home, then there should be no issues. If work related differences arise they should be handled like any other work related difference with any colleague and handled during working hours. We also worked together in a company in the same department some years back. We drove to and from work together each day, when we got there, we didn’t speak unless it was work related. We didn’t go to lunch together and people kept asking us how did we manage that. Simple, we were been professional.

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