Thursday, May 5, 2011

My rule about adding staff // HIRE SLOW

Adding staff to your team has the potential to help your ministry advance or crash depending on who your hire. When I think about hiring or even choosing to add staff I advise to go slow. A few years ago I watched a bad hire (the wrong offensive coordinator) wreck the career of Phil Fulmer at the University of Tennessee. Coach Fulmer hired the wrong guy and it cost him his job. I have also watched church leaders rush a hire and add the wrong leader. Instead of advancing the mission the wrong hire wreaked havoc. Hiring fast is usually a product of stress. We feel overwhelmed and we rush to fill a hole with a quality resume. The problem with the resume is they only say what is good about your possible hire. The only way to know if you are making the right hire is time, process, and patience. Here is what I am talking about...

  • Searching for the right leader is time consuming. We are a church that searches, we don't ask for people to send a resume. You won't see an add up for a job for our team. What I have learned is that searching is hard work and takes time. One great idea is partnering with a hiring a firm like Minister Search or the Vanderbloemen Search Group so help you start the process. Sure it costs money but searching for staff will take you away from what you are called to do in your ministry.
  • We always try to hire from within so we know who we are hiring and they buy into our philosophy as a volunteer first // even with an internal hire you have to pause and not rush the process.
  • When we look for new staff we look for a track record of ministry health. We want to be able to see the time they have invested in others. This is never limited to church jobs...we have hired as much from outside the "church world" as inside.
  • We look for leaders who are willing to give us time to process. If a potential hire is trying to rush there might be a problem.
  • Personality profiling works. We want to know the makeup of a potential hire...their personality and strengths...before we add them. Is this person a good fit? By testing we might avoid a disaster.
  • Multiple interviews are a big deal and getting to know their spouse and family is very important. Make sure multiple people meet and encounter a potential hire if at all possible.
  • I know I should not have to say this but you have to do research on all potential hires. Call to ministry leaders at former churches...background checks have to happen. This is all just part of the process.
  • Never settle // If you feel like something is missing from a potential hire walk away and wait.
  • Pray // We are staffing to advance God's Kingdom. Make sure every interview, conversation, and potential candidate gets covered with prayer.
  • Never cut corners  // The minute you take a hiring shortcut you have a great potential to soon be cleaning up a mess.
  • Sleep on it // before you make that final call, give it one more day.