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Family Business Hiring Screening Applicants

I work in a family-owned business, and the president wants me to hire his niece to work in our marketing department. She is unqualified, and I don't want to hire her. What should I do?

When you work in a family business that is starting to sound like a family reunion, the best step is to meet with the president. However, you should do so only if you are absolutely certain that placing his niece in the job is a major mistake. You need to have a complete understanding of her expertise, or lack of it, along with a clear idea of the demands of the position in which she is to be placed.

Your discussion with the owner should focus on the difficulties that arise when a person is placed in the wrong job. Specifically describe the problems and costs that can accrue to the company because of this mismatch, and then specifically describe the kinds of problems that this mismatch will cause for his niece.

If this is the wrong job for her, it will generate stress, dissatisfaction, failure, and embarrassment, and that will just be on the first day. In a word, it is unfair to do this to her.

You should then make some suggestions that may help his niece, such as a better position for her elsewhere in the company, some classes for her to take, or a more suitable line of work. Let the owner see that you are interested in what is best for her and the company. If he still insists that you hire her, you will have learned something important about your own relationship with him.

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