Why Hiring Friends Isn’t Always Smart

This is a quick post about a subject that has been on my mind a lot lately; hiring friends! So many people in this industry jump at the idea of hiring their friends but I want to talk about why this is a bad idea.

I am not talking about working with people that you like and are friendly with because if you only worked with people you did not like than life would not be very good. I am talking about people that you are friends with outside of work, could be friends you have had all your life or friends from school. If you hang out with these people regularly outside of a professional working environment then you may want to think twice before you hire them.

Sure it is great to get to go to work and have your bestie there all the time but you have to stop and ask yourself; is this the best person for this job?

I am not denying that there are circumstances where working with your best friend is a good thing and it works well but for the most part it causes problems and maybe not always for you but for the other people on set.

When friends come to set, especially friends that don’t work in this industry regularly, they tend to not take things very seriously. They are on set for the excitement and the fun of it, not to work hard. When I ask someone to do something that is their job I expect them to do it and not hesitate, complain or take their time doing it. If you are coming to work then work!

I have seen friends of the director over step and say things when they shouldn’t, I have seen directors get self conscious and shy when their friends are around and I have seen accidents happen when inexperienced people think they can do a job that they can’t.

We all want to be able to help our friends out and get them work or show them the cool work that we do but be smart about it. Don’t hire someone to do a job that you know they are not capable of doing. The first rule should be what is the best thing for this project, not what is going to make this experience the most fun for me. Work is called work for a reason, hang out with your friends after work or make your friends get really good at a set job and have them not embarrass you in front of your co-workers.

When you recommend a friend for a job and they do a bad job that reflects really poorly on you, not only are they not going to get hired again but people will start to question your judgement and wonder if you know what you are doing. Be smart about mixing your social life with your professional life.

The longer you do this job the more you will make friends and the more you will end up going to work with friends but there is a difference between that and hiring your friends to do jobs they have never done just because you want to hang out with them at work. Understand the difference and be smart about who you work with.


Currently a Television Development Production Manager & Producer. Courtney also has background in Assistant Directing, Production Coordinating and Production Assisting.

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