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    Ten Ways to Avoid a Bad Church Staff Hire

    | 2 min read

    Written by Todd Rhoades
    Dec 21, 2018 11:32:21 AM

    Recently, I asked a group of pastors if they’d ever brought someone on their church staff that they wish they’d never hired.  The overwhelming majority said yes… and they were more than willing to share, from their experience, how you can avoid making bad hiring decisions at your church.  Here are their top ten recommendations to help you avoid a bad hire:

    10.  Don’t Hire Out of Desperation
    No hire is better than an ‘okay’ hire.  If you are over-anxious to fill a position; the likelihood of a misfit increases dramatically. 

    9.  Beware of Needy People
    Just as you don’t want to hire out of desperation, don’t hire needy or desperate people.  A person who is desperate for work right now may very likely jump ship when a better or higher-paying position surfaces.

    8.  Avoid Shortcuts at All Costs
    You must always check references and backgrounds thoroughly.  It’s tedious and time-consuming, but a necessity.  As one person said it, “Make sure you wait, bait, and catch the right fish.  It’s a lot easier to take the time to catch the right fish than release a bad catch!”  Trust your first impressions, but follow-up thoroughly.

    7.  If You Must Hire Friends, Do So Cautiously
    Know upfront:  the transition from friend to boss is a difficult one.  The respect one has for a leader and for a friend is very different in many cases.  While hiring a friend might sound fun, it has been the end of many friendships when the working relationship doesn’t work out.

    6.  Take a Look at Family Situations of Potential Employees
    A perfectly qualified candidate may have a family life that is a mess.  Pay attention to character, the needs of the spouse and children, and the quality of the marriage.  Poor family relationships can affect job quality significantly.

    5.  View Your Hires as Long-Term
    Don’t be short-sighted.  When you’re interviewing candidates, be sure to look not only at your present-day needs but what you think the position might grow into.  Be sure the person you hire has the ability to grow wherever the position might go in the future.

    4.  Be Sure Your Leadership is Unanimous
    When hiring, be sure your entire leadership team agrees on the candidate.  One pastor told us, “Key leadership roles must have the wholehearted, enthusiastic support of everyone if they are to truly succeed in their new role.”

    3.  Never Offer a Position Out of Pity
    Believe it or not, this actually happens:  sometimes churches hire people because they feel sorry for them.  One person told us, “The person needed a job really bad -- and we had one available and gave it to her.”  Hires like this very seldom work out. 

    2.  Be Very Cautious of Philosophical Differences
    There will definitely be some greatly qualified, godly people who apply for your position who simply do not share your ministry philosophy.  Be sure that even the best personally and spiritually qualified people will be a good fit for your church’s vision, mission, and goals.

    1.  Stray Away from “Mr. Nice Guy”
    You’ve heard the phrase, “Nice guys finish last”.  You’ll be tempted to hire ‘nice guys’,  but being nice doesn’t necessarily qualify you for a job.  While ‘likeability’ is a definite plus for an employee, it doesn’t speak to qualifications or abilities.  Don’t fall for the ‘nice guy’ temptation.

    At Chemistry Staffing, we look at all of these red flags before we recommend a candidate for your position. Our passion is to find a healthy long-term for your team. Our advice:  Don't ever hire someone you suspect wouldn't last on your team for at least five years. We call it the "Five Year Filter".

    Let us help. Even if you're in the beginning stages of a search that will happen later this year, let's talk.

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