Be Patient & Don’t Elope: When Hiring Goes From Good to Ghastly

Hiring is one of the most complicated yet possibly the most critical parts of our job as leaders.

But time and time again I see leaders make hasty decisions when it comes to hiring.  Most of the time, their haste has good reason.  An employee just left leaving a gaping hole of responsibilities… budget was finally approved for the role that you’ve desperately needed for months, perhaps years… you’re so overwhelmed you’ll do anything to get some help.

We’ve all felt one or more of those pains when it comes to staffing.

But oftentimes these stressors that are driving us cause us to overlook the significance of our decision.

Hiring is like a marriage.

You are making a long-term commitment to that individual and they to you.  You are creating an expectation of security, longevity and belonging.  This gets even more complicated for those of you in ministry roles.  The people you hire and their families are intricately woven into your church community.  Their family, friends and community revolve around their job.  They potentially lose significant anchors of belonging if their job comes to an end.

This is why how you hire is critical.

Too many hiring managers elope after the first date.  They have a great interview with a great candidate and they rush to make an offer.

Unfortunately these hasty hiring decisions are often the ones that become extraordinarily painful down the road.

You must have a good, thorough, consistent hiring process for your organization.  And you must teach and train all of your staff to engage and support that system.  In my 15+ years of being a hiring manager I have never regretted a slow hire but I have unfortunately felt the pains of a quick elopement.

If you don’t have a formalized hiring process, here are some steps to consider:

  • Interview some great organizations to learn how their hiring process works.
  • Use some resources and tools that give you objective information from which to interview and evaluate the candidate.  We use the Leading from Your Strengths Assessment and Position Profile tools from Ministry Insights.
  • Consider what has worked well in hiring in the past and what has not worked so well.  Write out the steps that you believe are essential moving forward.
  • Gather a few of your key staff to discuss what you feel is essential for your hiring process.
  • Build a plan and then try it out on your next hire.

Be patient and don’t elope.

I promise you’ll thank me!