Losing a significant member of your church staff can be a watershed moment. It can be emotional, messy, and stressful and when it’s all over, you are left facing the tough job of replacing them. Many churches have dealt with this situation, and understand the importance of a wise selection. Your new hire will help shape the path of your community, so finding a person who fits and understands your congregation and who shares your vision for the church is key.
Your new hire will help shape the path of your community, so finding a person who fits and understands your congregation and who shares your vision for the church is key. Click To Tweet
Before diving into what can be a long and taxing process, it is helpful to be aware of the recurrent stumbling blocks that church leaders find themselves hitting when making a significant staff hire. Being aware of these five common mistakes may help you and your team actively avoid them.
Here are the five most common pitfalls when hiring staff:
When looking to replace a significant member of your church, it is normal to feel some pressure to fill the gap quickly and move on as the church did before they lost this person. However, rushing the process, or hiring the first person available, can have an unforeseen backlash. Churches that don’t recognize the importance of taking the time for a methodical and thoughtful search usually end of wasting time and money with the wrong selection.
2. Unclear Perspective
In order to understand who you are looking for in this particular hire, you need a clear perspective of your church. Pride and pain can get in the way of seeing your church’s reality, your foundational goals and what you really need to make it better. If you are following a map, trying to get to a new and unfamiliar place, then the first thing you need to know is where you are on the map.Pride and pain can get in the way of seeing your church’s reality, your foundational goals and what you really need to make it better. Click To Tweet
3. Unfocused Position Description
If you do not know exactly what you are looking for in a staff member, you are unlikely to find it. Hiring a new staff member usually begins with posting a position description. This is a key step that often goes wrong, because the description is vague or incorrect from the very start. There is a tenancy to gloss over faults while creating the description. This goes back to a lack of clear perspective: a good position description is impossible without a clear perspective.If you do not know exactly what you are looking for in a staff member, you are unlikely to find it. Click To Tweet
4. Insufficient Number of Candidates
If you only have one candidate (even if they seem like a good candidate) there is only one possibility – it’s not a choice. Comparison is essential to finding the best fit. The more candidates you have, the better you can compare and understand what makes a good candidate good, and what makes a bad candidate bad.
5. Inadequate Interviewing
Most interviews don’t accurately portray the candidate. Most people have been through interviews before and they already have idea of what to say and what not to say, even if it’s not the truth. Without a thorough interview, you miss many important elements of a person, you can’t gather the data you need to make an informed decision.Most interviews don’t accurately portray the candidate. Click To Tweet
Hiring well is a common struggle
Do some of these pitfalls look familiar? Have you or someone within your church made these oversights in the past? If you’ve struggled with hiring a new member of your staff, you’re not alone. Anyone who has made a significant hire has almost certainly made some of these miscalculations too.
Most mistakes in the hiring process are rooted in lack of or narrow strategy. In haste, hiring decisions will come down to personality. You may like the candidate a lot but that doesn’t mean they are equipped to lead your church for the next 20 years.
We’ve pooled our wisdom from over 30 years of walking alongside churches as they transition leadership into a new FREE resource! The Art of Hiring Wisely goes deeper into these pitfalls as well as lays out tried and true steps and principles to aid you in making the best possible hire. Whether you are anticipating the need to add to your staff or are walking through an unexpected change in leadership, The Art of Hiring Wisely will help you move forward with confidence.
Change Management– Hiring well is an important and essential factor in bringing on new staff–but it’s not the only one. It is also essential to guide your staff and community through the transition, which takes skill. To assess and grow your skills in leading change, we recommend the Change Management Effectiveness Profile and the Change Management Skills Builder. If you are a coach, the Managing Change Coaching Guide with Storyboard is a powerful tool to help you walk alongside your clients as they navigate leading major change.