Wisdom for Hiring

Here are a few things that I have learned through assisting other organizations and for searches for staff personally.  Hopefully, these can assist you in your search to find the right person for your staff team.

  • Take more time than you think you need. Sometimes it takes longer to find the right person to be a part of the team.  A wise friend said, “Do not hire the first person who sends in their resume; be discerning!”
  • The recommended “Super Star” is not always the best servant leader.
  • Ask about salary and benefit expectations before you reveal your budget for this position. This will tell a lot about the character and motives for the position seeker.
  • Make the position’s responsibilities clear with expectations laid out both verbally and in the job description. Clear lines of who they report to and who they will be working within this position need to clear for the candidate.
  • As the process narrows, have 2-3 interviews with key staff members and the board to determine fit and to gain further input into the discernment process. Be fair and communicate often with candidates. Too many candidates have been lost to organizations because the search team leaves the potential hire “Blowing in the Wind”.
  • Keep getting feedback from the candidate through emails, phone calls and Skype calls to keep the search process going.
  • Ask clear questions to help understand the long view potential with this candidate. How long do you see yourself in this ministry?  What areas of education or training do you see yourself needing to develop this area for the long haul?  What do you need from me on a regular basis as your supervisor or leader for you to be successful in this area of ministry?
  • Have you done enough background checking on this candidate? Go beyond the references given and ask for others.   Check online, get a police check, become their Facebook friend or follow them on Twitter.  Go beyond their previous position and check out their track record with other businesses or ministries.  If married, take time to get to know their partner.  If they are not willing to move or they are hesitant about the position they will influence your potential hire.
  • Finally, what does your gut say? Are there hesitations, red flags or questions that have been avoided or fuzzy?  Talk to some trusted friends or colleagues.  Let them met your spouse and get a response from them on the candidate.  My wife has given me great insight and wisdom regarding a new hire.
  • Take the candidate out to a restaurant and see how they respond to those that serve them.  What is their attitude like in a public situation especially to those that serve them?  Do they show gratitude easily? Is the attitude one of entitlement?
  • If these questions are giving you a green light to hire, hire them.
  • Have a probationary period and give them the authority, responsibility, accountability, resources and most important the healthy relationships needed for them to be a success for the organization that you lead.
  • Provide an outside coach or mentor to assist them in adjusting to the new culture and position in the first year.  The first year experience determines what happens in the years ahead.
  • What do you think?  Is there any other wisdom that might be helpful in this post?