Why Do Employers Ask if You Have Relatives in the Company?

Why Do Employers Ask if You Have Relatives in the Company?

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Interviewing for a new job can be an exciting but daunting process as you may spend hours preparing for the interview, anticipating questions, and preparing answers. Still, you may be surprised if your potential employer asks if you have relatives in the company and wonder why this information is relevant.

Employers ask if you have relatives in the company as they want to know if you have any connections to their company. The company policy may prohibit relatives or people from the same family working together. Conversely, they might prefer hiring people connected to the firm through their relatives. 

The rest of this article will explain a few topics related to this question in great detail. This includes company policies regarding relatives working together, company connections via relatives, and if you should mention your relatives during job interviews. 

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Company Policies Regarding Relatives Working Together

The primary reason why a potential employer will ask if you have relatives in the company is to ensure that they don’t go against company policy. 

Many companies have policies against hiring relatives. There are several reasons for this including nepotism, lack of professionalism, or financial issues. 

The Issue of Nepotism

Certain companies have a policy against nepotism. Nepotism is a workplace phenomenon that occurs when someone in a position of power shows favoritism towards a relative that works in the same company. This frequentlys happens at the hiring level. 

If a person in a position of power hires a relative, not because of their skills or qualifications, but simply because they are related, this is a case of nepotism. The practice creates an unfair advantage over the rest of the employees as they are asked to do more simply because they are not related to the powerful employee. 

To avoid problems associated with nepotism, companies typically prohibit relatives from working in the same company. This may be one reason they ask if you have a relative in the company during your interview. It may be against company policy to hire you if you do.  

It May Contribute to a Lack of Professionalism

Perhaps the company you interview for does not have a strict policy against hiring relatives. Yet, they may tend to shy away from it due to issues with professionalism. Companies may prefer to avoid hiring relatives because working with family members can be difficult. It may create unnecessary tension in the workplace.

If family members are forced to make difficult decisions regarding each other in the workplace, they may be unable to do so due to their relationship. Perhaps a person in power needs to dismiss or reprimand a worker who is a relative. However, they may feel unable to do so because of their familial relationship. 

In the most extreme cases, a person in power may be manipulating a relative within the company. Not only will this be uncomfortable for the employee, but it may also cause problems for the business. If the person in power is not acting in the best interest of the company, this could affect the business negatively. 

In order to avoid such uncomfortable situations between family members in the workplace, a company may choose to prohibit relatives from working together altogether to maintain professionalism.  

Financial Issues Might Crop Up 

Companies may also want to avoid hiring relatives because it can result in financial hardship for the family if things do not go well. For example, if a company hires several employees from the same family and then the company goes under, the entire family will lose their jobs. 

Relatives working in the same company can create an unnecessary financial hardship if the company shuts down. A shutdown would result in all family members losing their salaries. Hece, companies may prefer to avoid hiring relatives to prevent this kind of unnecessary hardship. 

The Issue Of Company Connections

While many companies may avoid hiring you if you have relatives in the company, others may look to hire you because you have a connection. There are many reasons why a company may expressly choose to hire you because you are related to someone who works there such as:

To Leverage Personal Connections

A company may hire you if you are related to someone who already works there because they value the personal connection you have to the company. For example, if a company interviews you and discovers a relative of yours works at the company, they can ask this relative for their input before hiring you.

Your relative is likely to give the employer a fair assessment of how you would be as a worker. They can also tell their employer if they think you would be a good fit for the company. Assuming you are a good worker, this can be advantageous for you. 

Additionally, your employer may value having multiple members of a family working in their company because it looks good for the firm. The company may feel that it is a compliment that someone speaks so highly of their company that their relative also applies for a job. The employer may be excited about your personal connection to the company. 

To Uphold Core Values 

Another reason an employer may be motivated to hire you if you have relatives who work at their company is because of the assumed values you may possess. It can often be true that you have similar personal values as relatives. 

If your employer feels strongly about values, they may be more likely to hire you if they think you possess the same positive core values as your relative. Core values are a vital part of any business, and finding employees who align with those values is crucial.  

Along with values, an employer may also consider that you are likely to be more loyal to a company if you have a relative working there. If you are working with a relative, you will probably feel a stronger personal connection to the company. As a result of this connection, you may feel a stronger sense of loyalty toward the company. 

Should I Mention Relatives and Family When Applying for a Job? 

From the above, you can see how having relatives at a company you interview with could positively or negatively influence your hiring process. This begs the question, should you mention relatives that work at the company while applying for the job? 

You should mention that you have relatives and family in the company when applying for a job. It’s also imperative to remain truthful and upfront during your interview.

When it comes to the issue of relatives/family working together, you need to be honest if you’re aware that you have relatives working in the company interviewing you. If you are not honest from the get go, this could create problems in the future.

Besides, if you are not honest with your employer about the issue, they are likely to find out later. This type of lie by omission could easily be cause for dismissal. Remember to always be upfront and truthful in your interviews to ensure good communication between you and your potential employer. 

Conclusion

In summary, your employer may ask if you have relatives at their company because this determines if hiring you fits within the company policy. 

It may be that they do not allow relatives to work together due to issues of nepotism. Or, it could be that they value your personal connection to the company and see it as an asset. 

When interviewing, you should always be honest with your employer.  

References