Hiring Friends May Be Harmful To Your Business and Peace of Mind

What follows was a great suggestion and interesting story.


Hello Ron. Hope all is well. Where do I start? Your next newsletter should be about hiring friends.

I had a couple of childhood friends move to Florida from NY and after they struggled for over one year to try to make it on their own, called me and asked for a job. First mistake I made was hiring them. No matter what you do, your friends will always feel that they deserve to be treated special and that they have the right to do anything they feel.

Second mistake was not laying down the law on paper and having it signed. I went over everything as far as company rules go but as time went on so did their selective memory.

You must get everything in writing even, if it's a temporary situation like a job where you can't start until 8:00 a.m. instead of 7:00 a.m. These two friends felt that they would still leave at 3:30 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m. but turn in eight hours anyway.

Well why not? It was my bad for not stating to them that quitting time would change to one hour later also. The other eight employees understood just fine.

They also held me personally responsible for keeping them busy all the time and solving all their problems. Let's not get started on the money borrowing because we don't have time for that today.

I got rid of them both on Wednesday of last week and let me tell you I am Free! Talk about a weight off my back. I feel like a new man. Too much energy and time wasted for nonsense. This monkey business went on for 4 1/2 months. And you want to know why? Because we felt that they were valuable to us at the time.

One of the project managers got so comfortable with them that he felt the pain of having them was worth more than the pleasure of not. This is the No. 1 reason that companies put up with this kind of crap!

The solution to this problem that tears away at so many companies is simple. Be ready before hand so that you can be free. What I did was simple.

First I wrote down my problem which was that we need to get rid of these two clowns but can't until we have their replacements or we can't get the work done.

No wait, we don't need them in particular, we need the skills that they provide!

I immediately took out a free ad on the internet describing all that I was looking for. What tools were needed, what skills, what kind of transportation, etc. I placed the ad with a little twist. Anyone who wanted to respond had to do so by e-mail only. No phone calls!

The ad was placed at noon and by 4:00 I had over 15 hits along with resumes, referrals, and everything in between. I had hits from all over the country!

By the next day I interviewed and made my hires. This time I started off on the right foot and it worked out perfectly. Company policy all written down, agreed upon and signed.

It has only been two weeks that my new hires have been on but they are working out far beyond what I could have imagined. Even our supers, who I never told what I was up to behind the scenes are amazed.

We hired out of logic and not desperation and this is the key. No more will I ever put up with this kind of monkey business just because someone thinks that they are so invaluable that they can do what they want. Yeah that's right, I didn't once ask the field people what they think I should do.

They are the ones blinded by what is going on right in their face and they can get comfortable with a bad situation. Sometimes you have to be the boss, act like the boss and do what bosses do! Every single one of our field people has personally thanked me for making the move.

They say "Oh by the way I was just about to tell you to get rid of this one or that one and I was just about to do it myself had you not of stepped in." Yeah right, don't make me laugh.


Great story. Some great lessons.

Note that his guys didn't like working with these two bums but wouldn't stand up and do anything. They were waiting for him to do it...and that's one of his main jobs as owner. Fix staffing problems.

More than likely, if he had known what to listen for and what questions to ask, his guys were telling him to replace these guys. It was up to him personally to figure out how to do that while meeting his client commitments.

The man from this letter runs a very successful company. His ability to fix such a serious problem shows why. Not many business owners have the ability and guts to get it fixed.

Ron Roberts, The Contractor's Business Coach, teaches contractors how to turn their business into a profit spewing machine. To receive Ron's FREE Contractor Best Practices Newsletter visit www.FilthyRichContractor.com.