TEN THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN INTERVIEWING A POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE
Dick Hardy, Pastoral Leadership Consultant emails:
Have you ever said to yourself after you hire someone, ‘Wow! I should have asked that question. How did I miss that one?’
Let me give you a few thoughts to ponder when interviewing a potential staff member. This should not be construed as an exhaustive list but should give you food for thought as you go below the waterline in learning all you can about people who desire to serve under your leadership. (Be sure to check with your legal counsel before digging on some of these subjects).
Here are 10 things to consider when thinking about hiring someone:
1. Get a very specific answer as to why they are leaving their current position. Force them to talk beyond ‘I just feel God is moving me on.’ In 99% of the cases, something is there for you to know.
2. Ask all current and former employers if, given the opportunity, they would rehire the candidate. If they hesitate, pay attention.
3. Ask for permission to do a criminal background and credit check. Get their response in writing. If they hesitate at all, pay attention.
4. Ask references for the weakest character trait of the candidate and the candidate’s spouse. Contact people who know the candidate and who are not on their reference list. Tell the candidate you are going to do so, and ask for any names where confidentiality is an issue. In other words, who should you not contact and for what reason?
5. Push the candidate to tell you in what ways his or her greatest weakness could slow their ability to be their best for you. Have them tell you in what ways that weakness could destroy their ministry. Listen up. They have a weakness they need to identify and should be able to articulate its ability to do harm.
6. Find out how far from the candidate’s and the spouse’s family they have lived in the past. Dig into where they spent holidays and how frequently they visited both sides of the family. Measure that against your location and its proximity to their families. Don’t neglect this. Take it seriously.
7. Gather specific debt information. This should include loan amounts, current outstanding balances, and monthly payment amounts. Ask if they have ever been late on a payment and why?
8. Gather specific credit card balances. If beyond nominal monthly charges and/or if there is a running balance that is not paid off monthly, ask for the reason for such.
9. Have the candidate and spouse describe a specific conflict in their marriage and what they did to address it. Don’t allow them to get theoretical… get a specific date, location, circumstance and such.
10. Have the candidate tell you about two specific instances where the actions of their previous boss ticked them off. Also ask for two instances when the actions of people (either fellow staff members or volunteers) frustrated them.
It is your role as the leader to do all you can to protect the ministries of the church and the families you lead. You must fight the desire to go through the motions with a candidate. You may want this person so badly you start to overlook warning signs. The candidates almost always look good at first.
In the final analysis, the church, its mission, and its future are more important than the feelings of candidates. Staff members are the engine that move mission forward. Disregard the list above and leave yourself open to mediocrity and sometimes regret. Find the best, get the right answers, keep feelings in the right perspective, and you will be a happy leader of good staff members.
Question: What’s the top question you ask candidates interviewing for a position?
Recommended – Dick Hardy’s Right Turns – Link: http://www.thehardygroup.org
THREE STRATEGIES FOR KEEPING GROWTH EXISTING AND CONSISTENT
Dan Black’s goal is to write content that helps leaders reach their potential.
Here’s one of his latest Dan Black on Leadership posts:
Personal growth does not need to be boring or inconsistent. You can make it both exciting and consistent. In fact, it is crucial for leaders to do exactly that. The byproduct will be that they will remain effective, competent, and be moving toward their potential. Below are three strategies for keeping your growth exciting and consistent:
1. Make your growth fun and enjoyable
Your personal growth plan should be fun. It should include the practices and methods you like and enjoy doing. Personal growth can be both fun/enjoyable while still stretching you and creating change within you. Growth you never enjoy will become an unnecessary task that will soon be forgotten.
The key is to find the growth methods you enjoy doing. For example, one of my main growth methods is listening to audio books. The core categories of books I listen to are: leadership, parenting, marriage, and spiritual growth. The main reasons are because I enjoy those topics, they are within my strength zones, and they directly impact my life. When I come to a chapter that is not enjoyable or applicable for my life I don’t hesitate to turn off or skip that particular section of the book.
Action: Find the growth methods you like and find enjoyable. Make it fun and you will always be consistently growing.
2. Implement daily growth into your everyday activities
You should make growth a daily habit. Do this by weaving it into your everyday life. When you do you will consistently be growing. Sticking with the audio book method analogy a leader can easily implement that method while driving, working out, while on a break, or during a waiting period.
Another method to daily growth is to make reading easily accessible. One strategy I’ve recently implemented into my growth plan is setting up a separate email account for just the blogs I subscribe to. This allows for me to access all of the blogs I read in one place and it does not clutter my main email account. All I need to do is access the email account on my IPhone or computer and begin reading.
Action: Make growth a daily habit by implementing it into your everyday activities.
3. Find a growth friend or community
Being around people who are growing will keep your growth alive. This is because being around people who are growing creates a fun and thriving growth environment. Leaders need to be intentional about spending time with and around those who are dedicated to personal growth.
Two benefits can come from this. First, being around people who are growing and learning will influence you to be growing yourself. Secondly, you can create accountability between each other to always be growing and stretching yourself outside your comfort zones. These two things will allow you to consistently be growing.
Action: Find a friend or community who are growing and spend time around them.
Question: How do you keep personal growth exciting and consistent?
Dan Black’s leadership writings and his book The Leadership Mandate are recommended – link: http://www.danblackonleadership.com ____________________________________________________________________________________
RECOMMENDED LEADERSHIP LINKS
• The Hardy Group http://www.thehardygroup.org
• Faith & Leadership http://www.faithandleadership.com
• NACBA MultiBriefs http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/nacba
• Breaking Christian News http://www.breakingchristiannews.com
• My Christian Daily http://www.mychristiandaily.com
• Leadership Journal Newsletter http://www.christianitytoday.com
• Church Leaders Update http://www.churchleaders.com
• Dan Black On Leadership http://www.danblackonleadership.com