The How-To’s of Hiring
I have great admiration for those who hire well.
A mentor of mine, Woody Faulk of Chik-fil-A, has great advice for building staff: “Don’t just hire whoever washes over the bow of the ship. Go out and find great people and slowly, carefully recruit them when you know that they are a fit.”
Go beyond classifieds and online job search bots.
In today’s fast-paced, plugged-in climate, there’s nothing wrong with leaders making use of the connections they have built. There is still something to be said for old fashioned networking. In a few words, reach out with a description of who you are looking for.
Productive staff member results from purposeful hiring.
Ask candidates to complete a project or sample task rather than jumping into the interview process. Test projects enable you to see their speed of work, quality of work, and expertise level. This approach adds a level of expectation to the process even on the part of the candidate. You’re looking for as much useful input as possible to make the best choice.
Screening is a useful science.
I believe it’s imperative to have someone screen candidates prior to interviewing. This is for protection. People communicate differently with their future boss, making this a powerful technique.
Provide your screener with an established list of questions to be asked for all candidates. Whether on the phone or face-to-face, the screener gathers answers from your selection pool. Go over this with the person who did that screening and narrow down your selection.
Personality testing provides perspective.
I really recommend that you use personality testing. The two that we really strongly recommend are the ‘DISC’ using a “Disc Profile.” The “Strength Finder” and “Achiever” tests are excellent as well, and can be purchased online. All are friendly and positive. Candidates typically love being able to take the test and learn about themselves.
Aside from reliability, personality tests create opportunities for conversation beyond typical interview conversations. Profiles give tons of information over which to ponder and reflect. Dialogue therefore is able to go much deeper, again providing you with useful information for pinpointing the perfect fit.
Interview them. Again. And again.
I was convicted of this when speaking with someone as we swapped stories regarding interviews. He was shocked to hear I spoke with a candidate once, maybe twice, before making a hiring decision. How could I be so good at making the choice, finding the perfect fit? He swore he needed seven or eight conversations, minimum, before all questions he had for his candidates had been touched on, maybe answered. Was I a pro at interviewing…or did I have a lot more to learn?
You want to have several conversations, paint a complete picture of the person, before making a hiring decision. The more you converse with someone, both formally and informally, the better you will get to know them as a person – who they genuinely are.
It takes a village.
Get your team involved! Enlist key volunteers in interviewing. This gives you the opportunity to have the same questions asked by different people, with multiple people all hearing the same responses. Gather these people in a room and hear their feedback! Multiple perspectives and interpretations will only expand what you already know and have to work with when making your decision. They are going to have heard so many things that you will not have heard.
When it can’t be done, do it.
Take a note from highly effective leaders in your last stage of the hiring process. Spend a few minutes with your candidate to talk them out of wanting the job. You only want the person who perseveres. If you can talk them out of taking the job, they shouldn’t have it in the first place.
Admittedly, this process takes longer than what many people are used to. However, the fruit of your labors will be a great fit for your ministry.
Hiring well is better than hiring often.
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