Watch for a servant’s heart and avoid spotlight hunger.
This could also fall under the “who to hire” category, but it fits here as well. The process of finding your next hire begins before it officially begins. It starts now as you are scanning, watching, and praying. You want to hire people who are hungry…but only if they are hungry for the right thing. There will be people who are hungry and who seem to be on your side and who will jump at any opportunity…as long as it involves some sort of notoriety, title, or paycheck. If you sense that their motives are self-centered, spotlight-hungry, or title-driven, shut them down gently, but quickly. It may not always be a “NO,” but the answer for now is at least “SLOW.” Paul was wise when he told Timothy, “never be hasty in appointing a church leader” (1 Timothy 5:22 NLT). And by the way, for those who say, “I’m just hiring a janitor, what’s the big deal?” Every position on a church staff is a big deal. When they join your team, your church is looking to them as a leader.
Be on the lookout for someone who shows up to serve because they love Jesus and love people. Most of the rest of their job can be trained if you have those things in place.
Giving power is much easier than removing power.
It’s so much easier to hire someone than fire someone. I’ve done plenty of hiring and more firing than I would prefer. Although the people I’ve fired were not the result of me hiring the wrong person, I have unfortunately placed the wrong people in volunteer leadership positions and had to later remove or transition them later. Those are tough decisions and challenging conversations. When hiring, take it slow and be prayerful. In Luke 6, Jesus prayed through the night before He chose His disciples. If the Son of God went to that much effort to pray over a team of volunteers, our staffing decisions should probably get a little more attention than a job application and a quick interview!
Obviously, at some point you have to pull the trigger and take a risk, but don’t rush the decision. This goes not only for hiring, but also for any position that requires trusting and empowering someone. Especially if it’s a position of influence, it must be prayerfully considered.
Make sure you like them.
In my last post about the “who” of hiring, I discussed two “Cs” of hiring: character and competence. Here’s one more for you: culture (or if you prefer, chemistry).
At the risk of stating the obvious, if you’re going to work with them, you should like doing so. Since you’re going to spend a good amount of time side-by-side, make sure you won’t dread when they walk in the door. Our hiring process is somewhat extensive, with a lengthy application, a preliminary phone interview, and multiple rounds of interviews with different leadership and current staff. One recent staff member told a family member about her second round of interviews and she asked her, “This is just a part-time position, right?” Yes it is. And yes, we care that much – even about part-time hires.
Early on, when we hired one of our first administrative assistants, not only did we take her through multiple rounds of interviews as I’ve detailed already, but her final (bonus) interview involved her husband, me and my wife, and Pastor Nate and his wife at Starbucks. Since Nate and I would be working closely with her, we thought it was important for our wives to like her and feel comfortable with her as well. We came in with no agenda besides getting to know them a little better and left feeling really happy with hiring her.
Maybe that should have been my final thought on how to hire: Interviews should involve coffee.
Oh, and one more tip: Stalk their social media.
K E V I N • M I L L E R
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