Why I’m all for nepotism – Part 1

If I were a landlord, I’d hire my brother to mow my lawns. It’s not just because he’s my brother. I’d hire him because…

  1. I know he works hard
  2. I know it’ll look great when it’s done
  3. I know how to get into contact with him easily
  4. I know he’ll give me a fair deal (or I don’t really mind over paying for it), and most of all…
  5. I know he’s dependable

Compare this to Random Joe, the lawn cutter in the Yellow Pages:

  1. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to work hard
  2. I’m not really sure it’ll look that great when it’s done
  3. I don’t know how to contact him, and it’ll take time to figure that out
  4. I bet he’s going to try to get as much money as he can, and most of all…
  5. Who knows if he’s dependable?

There’s a lot more that plays into these decisions of course. For instance, if things somehow don’t go as well as I’d like, it will be harder to ditch my brother than Random Joe. Speaking generally, though, I can see why we tend to decide this way.

I mean I don’t believe we all act rationally. But rationally, I think it would be a pretty good option to hire my brother. And it’s not just me. I think, in the long run overall, it would be better for everyone to work this way.

Soft skills and bonuses – like the ability to contact my brother easily and so on – are huge. In some ways, they might be even more important than the skills we show on paper, especially through more traditional “credentials.” Maybe we can learn from that even in the situations where nepotism doesn’t seem to work in our favor.