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10. 2. 2023

Staff Hiring

How to Identify & Avoid Toxic Hires in Ministry

| 2 min read

Written by Mark Maestas
Mar 24, 2023 8:00:00 AM

Doughnut Makers and Debby Downers


As church leaders, it's crucial to create a positive culture in our workplaces, as we spend more time at work than at home. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, toxic individuals can slip through the cracks and poison the team's morale. To avoid this, it's important to ask the right questions during the hiring process to identify potential toxicity.

One question to ask is about the candidate's biggest mistake in ministry and what they would change about it. Toxic employees may admit failure but shift blame, so look for those who have solutions that focus on team performance rather than just their own. Another question to ask is what the candidate loves most about their job – toxic individuals may focus on perks rather than the people they work with.

Asking about what the candidate would change about their current boss or church can also reveal potential toxicity. They may whine and complain or refuse to answer the question altogether, which could be a red flag. On the other hand, nontoxic candidates may offer solution-based answers that focus on the organization as a whole rather than personal issues.

It's also important to pay attention to the candidate's body language and tone during the interview, as well as their social media presence. If they are rude or aggressive online, it's likely that these behaviors will carry over into the workplace.

By identifying toxic individuals early on and weeding them out of the hiring process, we can protect our team culture and create a positive, healthy work environment for all.
Do you need some help thinking through how to find the right staff member? Or maybe your team needs a little coaching.  I'd love to have a conversation with you! 


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