Hiring The Right Person

by Darrell Law | Mar 28, 2017 | Consulting, Leadership

Is your organization or ministry at a standstill? Can’t seem to breakthrough to the next level?  

One of the anchors holding your ministry or organization back could be you don’t have the right people on your team. In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins says, “Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.” It’s essential that leaders be rigorous in their selection process for inviting new people to join their team.

Recently a ministry leader called to share with me his vision and goals for his ministry and seek my counsel on how to take his ministry to the next level. He shared his desire to grow his local church, expand his outreach to the next generation, and take his ministry to a national platform.

The first question I asked him was, “Tell me about your staff.” I believe one of the key elements for a successful organization is to have the right staff in the right positions. Even though this leader was a powerful communicator, charismatic, likeable, genuine, and engaging, he will need to surround himself with the right people to get where he wants to go. I’ve witnessed ministry leaders hire those who are “faithful” volunteers in their church or their “favorites,” the people they really like. While these two characteristics are good, these shouldn’t necessarily be the the qualities used to hire a member to your team.

Let me share with you the three C’s that I learned years ago from Bill Hybel’s book, Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs, and have used in hiring key staff in my many years as an executive pastor of a multi-campus megachurch and national television ministry — character, competency, and chemistry. 

For character, make sure the person you want to invite to your team has integrity, honesty, recognizes others for their accomplishments, exemplifies servanthood, put others first, a good steward of money, etc. It will take a series of interviews and calling references and previous employers to help assess the character of the candidate, but it is well worth the effort. Let a position go unfilled until you have found the right person. If the person passes the character requirement, then go to the next characteristic.

For competency, you assess a person’s skills and gifts, education, and experience for the job description you want to fill. Be sure to hire the person who has clearly demonstrated on their resume they have the work experience to effectively do the job. I have seen ministry leaders hire people because the person met the budget, instead of being the best choice. It will cost you and your organization more by bringing on the wrong person to the team. If the competency requirements have been met, now the final requirement needs to be considered.

For chemistry, you want to be sure the person you are considering to hire fits well in your organization’s culture and you can foresee enjoying working with each other on a daily basis. The candidate may have character and a MBA, but don’t overlook the importance of the person “fitting in” with the team. Even though chemistry is important, a person must pass all three C’s. Unfortunately, I have seen hiring decisions made heavily based on the leader liking the person and not really putting as much weight in the other requirements causing the organization to not reach its potential.

Most people would say Apple is one of the most successful companies of our day and has radically transformed the cellphone industry and how people communicate. Steve Jobs didn’t give credit to their innovation in technology, instead he said “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.

If you are ready to go to the next level, be sure to only invite someone to join your team after he/she passes ALL THREE C’s – character, competency, and chemistry.

Darrell Law

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