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I’m in a situation where I wanted to hire 2 freelancers, and they’re a couple. After a few interviews and investigations, I realized the husband totally lied on his resume and experience; all he did was working as a salesman. The wife seems to be an awesome individual, and she’s going back full time to university. She has a degree already in the field I need freelancer for (linguistic). Offering her some freelance projects would really help her since she cannot have a full time job anymore.

Where I’m stuck: I don’t know how to deal with the husband situation and with the last interactions we had, I’m also worried about my clients’ privacy and integrity; for example, just minutes after I introduced the first project to the wife (a project for her only), he sent me a private message about it and made fun about something regarding my client. I was a bit shocked because I don’t do this myself, and I don’t know if she shared the details with him or if he looked at our conversations. When I mentioned privacy, he kept coming back with all the "but why why?" and frankly it annoyed me to even have to explain this to him.

I’d like to deal with the wife as an individual and not have to worry about her unprofessional husband. I don’t know if I should be honest and tell her about this (my worries) or simply not hire her at all. It seems like hiring her could bring me issues because of her husband but I find it a bit unfair to her to not tell her.

Any suggestions on how I should manage this situation? Should I simply forget about them both and find someone else? I’d like to hear how people deal with this, both on the side of being freelancers and business owners.

Also, these freelancers live in another country; legally it would be hard to sue them if they wouldn't respect the NDA and contract.

3

DO NOT HIRE THEM

This looks like business and personal got mixed.

  1. The husband lied, he's out.
  2. The wife leaked information to her husband, she's out.

They are out because the core foundation of business is trust.

7

I hate to say it but I don't think you should hire her at all.

If you hire her it seems you have only 2 options:

  1. Talk to her about her husband and your concerns. By the sounds of it the husband would not take to this kindly. I don't think he would gracefully back down and imagine he would keep causing problems in your work. You also don't want to be responsible for causing a rift between a married couple - who wants to be in the middle of that?
  2. Hire them both anyway and don't mention your concerns. It almost goes without saying that this is a big fat red flag. Listen to your gut, you don't want somebody involved who is going to taunt you and your clients.

Therefore your only real option is to walk away and find someone else.

3

Pass on them.

Realize any bond the wife has will be much stronger for her husband than any client, including you. If he's involved now in an undesired fashion, he will be later as well. Even after you speak with her. After all it's her husband, she lives with him, you're just some random client.

She won't keep the work private. She will discuss issue with him. She will vent to him when frustrated. She will share with him when she's happy. Whether or not she can prevent him from visibly making himself known to you is a different matter, but he will be involved.

2
  1. I dont think this couple comes as "package deal".
  2. Further you are free to choose wife over husband
  3. I dont think you need to look at relationship aspect of this at all. But you could drop a brief hint at what you think. You are paying for work and need to be focused on work part then on relation/psychological part thaqt goes with it
  4. If this couple is professional - they will understand and will accomodate you since you might not be the only one who doesnt wants "package deal". If they push for "package" you know they are not pro's and you know what do next - decline them.

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