Hiring a PPC specialist can be a very long and very annoying process where you meet 100 different people and none of them seem to suit your needs and requirements. All of a sudden, you realize you can take a very easy shortcut: You are good friends with a guy whom you trust and happens to be a PPC looking for a job. But then, that same old thought comes to your mind: How much of a good idea is it to hire a friend? Well, here’s a full list of aspects to consider before going ahead with it.
Is that the actual best candidate for the position?
Of course, a very good friend of yours can happen (and hopefully is) to be a great guy, whom you trust and who’s been to dinner with your parents and everything, but would you hire him if you had never met him before? When you started your search for a PPC specialist you probably built a list of skills and requirements for your employee to have, does this friend fulfill them? If not, would you hire anyone else who was lacking what he lacks? This is a very important point to make and a useful analysis to do because hiring a friend is not just about doing him a favor, you also need your PPC tasks done. So, will he be able to ace them? Even if he is in the field of Advertising, is he an actual PPC specialist or he just knows a thing or two about Display Ads?
Your relationship will necessarily change
Even if you’ve been friends for 10 years and he’s the person you trust the most in the world, you need to face the facts: Your relationship will change. He’ll now think of you as his boss (which more often than not can have a bad connotation) and you’ll think of him as your PPC specialist, even if it’s just for a couple of hours every day. Given that situation, your friendship will have to be paused until after-work hours and weekends. Also, if there happens to be any inconvenience at the workplace, your friendship will be paused until that gets solved if it ever does.
How does your team feel about it?
If you are not working solo and have, for example, an Advertising Agency, that means there’s a whole team (aka group of human beings with emotions) that’s relying on you. These people may have been with you for a while now, so you need to ask yourself: How will this affect them? Favoritism and preference problems happen in every community to ever exist (whether it is a work team, a family, or just a group of friends), so how do you think your team will feel about hiring someone that already happens to be one of your favorite persons in the world?
Being able to separate friendship and professional relationship
This point is born as a solution to the prior one: You need to treat your friend as you’d treat any PPC expert that you’d hire. If they create a fantastic Display Ad, that’s awesome and they should be congratulated, but if they messed up they should have the same consequences that any other employee would have. These actions will guarantee that your team feels comfortable and you sustain a good work environment. However, it is not always possible to treat an old friend like any other employee and if you don’t settle this from day one, it can get very hard to do it later. Therefore, make sure you have this covered even before you start working to avoid conflict.
If you ever hired or were hired by someone, you know how much of an important point this is. It has a deep connection with the prior item, but it’s not just about professionalism. People can mess up. In fact, people will mess up. Especially in a field that involves so much creativity and subjectivity like advertising is. Perhaps, the day will come that you think the Display Ad they created is simply awful, no matter how much of a good PPC they are, and they think it’s their masterpiece. When that happens, will you be able to be frontal with them and tell them, always respectfully, what’s on your mind? If you have trouble with such conflicts, then imagine how’d it be like if it’s a friend you are talking about. On their side, since you already know them, how do they handle criticism? How would they handle it coming from you? All very important questions to answer.
As much as this is a huge matter when hiring anyone, it takes special importance when the person to think of is a close friend. Let’s say your friend is actually a great PPC specialist and perfect for the job, you still need to be very clear with him about what you need from them, when, and how. When in doubt, over-communication is always better in order to keep everything clear and leave little to no place for personal assumptions or “he-said-she-said” conflicts.
We already discussed the importance of boundaries when we talked about hiring someone through our networks, but here, since this is an actual friend of yours, we have a big difference. How able will you be to set proper boundaries when it comes to someone as close as this? If he’s, for example, being lazy and trying to get out with it by taking advantage of your friendship, will you call him out on it? If he’s running an Ad Campaign all wrong and he goes with it even when you told him not to, will you be able to take that client away from him? These are just examples, but you can apply this to any situation in the one he could take advantage of being an old friend of yours.
Are you willing to lose them?
The bottom line here is one: When involving a friend in your work environment, you have a very high risk of losing them. Either because they showed their true colors or because of a huge misunderstanding, this can happen and you can end up with no PPC specialist and no friend. That’s why it’s so important to consider how much their friendship means to you and how much you would care to lose it. You need to settle if your priority is having them as a friend or as a PPC expert.
To conclude, I believe hiring a friend is never worth it. If they are going through a rough patch, you can lend them money, try to connect them to someone looking to hire, or see what you can do for them. Even if your friend is a Display Ad rockstar, there’s so much to lose that I’d always try to look for another person to hire. If you believe it’s important to hire someone that you trust and know, then why not go with just a PPC acquaintance? You know them, you kind of trust them and, if everything goes wrong, losing them wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. In any of the cases, if you do choose to go ahead and hire a friend or an acquaintance, you’ll definitely need to go through these points in order to figure out the most beneficial way to handle your friend, your team, and your Ad Campaign.