The worst hire to make is the wrong hire. Not only the cost of interviews, bringing in a candidate, paying a consultant or outside perspective, and the cost of any severance or buyout required to move on. But beyond the financial cost, there’s other expenses that can’t be recorded on a ledger sheet. The leadership loses a little bit of its credibility and trust after bringing in a bad hire. It will then be more difficult the second (or third or fourth) time around when an opening requires a hire.
Obviously you can’t tell everything in an interview or screening process. Those, though good, aren’t perfect. Someone can absolutely dazzle in an interview and then when they’re on the job they flame out as a dud. Or someone can be awful in the interview process but turn out to be a great hire who happened to have a bad morning.
Whenever you’re looking at bringing in a new team member, you not only want to see what they can do, but also who they are. This is especially true for ministry, where the qualifications for pastoral ministry are overwhelmingly character > competency. And in the church, because what we do is intensely personal and interactive, we have to make sure we’re bringing the right people on board.
Jim Collins called it “making sure the right people are on the bus in the right seats.” The wrong person in the wrong seat can make it difficult for any ministry to move towards vision. I wrote a whole book on developing a team climate in ministry, where I put a ton of emphasis on chemistry as the missing ingredient for most church staffs.
Though they’re not perfect (every hire and on-boarding requires a tremendous amount of faith and trust in the provision of God), we should try to ask 6 questions about every new hire.
What questions do you ask in a new hire process?
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.