All in the family: Nepotism affects the ability to recruit and retain the best

By Gerd Fiebig
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/12/2001

It’s only recently that nepotism in hiring has taken on negative connotations. Up until the last century, it was assumed that children would take over a family business. From royalty to rug makers, and cattlemen to carpenters, children were expected to adopt the skills of their family trade, and assume these responsibilities when required.

Consider the thoughts of a shopkeeper, whose hard work, long hours and determination has established a small business that has grown to the point of requiring another employee. Are thoughts of hiring a sibling or close relative wrong? If the only person she feels she can rely on is a sister or son, why should it be considered an inappropriate hiring practice?

On the other hand, if those people whom she trusts the most are unqualified, or without the experience necessary to perform the duties required of the position, her business may suffer. Nepotism can also drive away people who could otherwise help your company prosper.