In the August 2016 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine there is an article about a client asking you to hire their kid as a favor. This was interesting timing for me because I had just gone through a situation where I hired someone who was recommended and in a very short period of time it became clear they were not a good fit for Moceri Construction. It is something I deal with a lot where people want their kid or friend to get a job with us. It is a difficult because on one hand a referral or recommendation can be a great way to find, talented good character, people for your team. The flip side is that when you bring on a person with an external connection you are jeopardizing that relationship should the hire not work out.
The article is not in favor of hiring someone as a favor but thinks there are ways to help the prospective employee out by giving them direction and mentoring. The way I try to make the decision is just always make the best decision for the business. If someone is referred and they will be a good fit for your team, then I am all for it. With that it is important to make the best business decision at the time of hiring and be willing to make the tough decision if need be should the hire not work out.
So, while it can be great PR to do the favor hire and it can end up being a win win, it is not worth doing so at the expense of your team and ultimately your company. Hire because it is the correct move for your business not because you feel obligated.