Hi guys,

Short intro on myself: I'm new here, but have already listened to at least 100 podcasts over the past year, so I'm well into the Manager Tools mindset :)
As a team lead in a tech company, this podcast has definitely boosted my performance and elevated my professionalism. Thanks Mike and Mark!

And now... BLUF: should I try to recruit a good friend of mine to an open position within my team?

Details: I'm a lead programmer of about 6 people. We share the same manager, I don't deal with their paychecks, but I am fully in charge of assigning work tasks to them and coaching them through their work. We hold 1:1's and I try to use the feedback model with them (unfortunately I don't do that often enough - truly my fault).

One talented guy in this team of mine will be leaving after several years. Professionally he pretty much works solo, because the only other person involved in his software module is me (as designer/lead). This module is very delicate and important, and one dedicated and skilled person is all it should take to handle that work.

A good friend of mine has long been interested in working for my firm. He interviewed for several positions in the past and was not accepted. We studied at the university together and I know he's a bright guy that would fit this open req somewhere between a 7/10 and 9/10. I know I can create this work opportunity for him and that he'd take it without hesitation.

My main concern here is mixing friendship with work. I have good work relations with all of my "directs" (and peers and bosses, everyone), yet I'm still not sure how beneficial this would be. I do know that I'll be doing my friend a big favor (this position is much better suited for him than his current one), and I think it'll be fun to work closely with a friend, despite being in different layers of the hierarchy. But what if things go a bit rough professionally?

What would you recommend me to do?



RichRuh's picture
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 In general, hiring friends is a difficult situation, especially if you haven't worked with them before.  Bottom-line: "Would you be willing to fire them if you had to?"

In this particular case, though, there's an additional warning sign:  "A good friend of mine has long been interested in working for my firm. He interviewed for several positions in the past and was not accepted."  

Why wasn't he hired before?  What do the rest of your team think about him?  

If you want to move forward, you definitely  need other team members to interview him.  If they say no, you're done- do not override your team.  You should never override a "no" from your team, but in this case it's doubly important, because they will think you ignored them and hired him because you are his friend.  Even if he performs well, the team will start off resenting him.

If you want to proceed, do so with extreme caution.



EDC's picture

Thanks Rich.

Yes, it seems that by doing this I would have more to risk than to gain. Perhaps it's better to leave the two worlds separate...