The Excitement and Unease of Hiring

Hiring staff is an exciting time in the life of any church or organization. Building a team signifies that your organization or church is growing. Of course, the hiring process could also be filled with uncertainties and insecurities. Questions like: What if we hire the wrong person? What if that person does not fit into our culture? What if that person is unable to grow with us or fully perform to the level that we expect? These questions recognize that hiring the right person for a job has consequences–both positive and negative.

Trust God Throughout the Process

Christian leaders should respond to these concerns in two ways: 1) trust God’s sovereignty, and 2) bathe the entire process in prayer. We need to remember that God is always in control even over the hiring process, but also that prayer shows our dependence on him through it all. Thus, while these questions and concerns are valid, they should not paralyze us in hiring a staff and building a team.

The 4 C’s Framework

Our team has created a framework for the hiring and team building processes. In fact, we use the 4 C’s even when thinking about elders, deacons, and volunteers. The 4 C’s are: Character, Competence, Compatibility, and Commitment. Depending on the position, will determine how quickly or slowly we work through the process to ensure that all 4 C’s are met. For example, potential elders will be evaluated for a lengthy period of time while an important volunteer position like audio/visual team lead may not be as long of a process. No matter the position, the 4 C’s remain a valuable tool. From the outset, you need to set a timeline based on the position to ensure that all of these areas are met before you make your next hire.

The 4 C’s Summary

  • Character: The hiring process should be used to get a good read on the applicant’s character. The interview and calling references are great tools to get information about their heart and motives. As a leader of leaders, I can work on a person’s competence, compatibility, and commitment, but character is between them and the Lord. Character is not about being perfect, but rather about being perfected in Christ. As we hire or place people in leadership, we want to ensure that they are pursuing a life of holiness and that they are walking with the Lord on a daily basis. Godly character is a must have in ministry and Christian organizations.
  • Competency: When building a team, you want to ensure that the people you are bringing into the organization are able do the job you are asking them to perform. What good would it be to hire a worship leader who has no knowledge of music? The answer, “No good at all.” Your hiring process should ensure that the person you are going to assign these tasks can either perform them immediately or has the potential to grow into the position. Competency is about deciding if they can either do the job or show great potential for doing the job well.
  • Compatibility: Compatibility is about making sure this person fits into your team’s context. Some organizations are no-nonsense–i.e., the Marine Corps. Others are all about relationships and relaxed environments. You will want to make sure that the person you are hiring will be compatible with your other team members and the working culture you desire. Bringing a person into your organization who is not compatible, can deteriorate the culture and will cause you more work in the end.
  • Commitment: We should ensure that the people we are hiring are committed to the mission, vision, and values of our organizations. Do they get where we are going, and do they desire to be with us through not only the good days but also the bad ones? The people who join our teams need to be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to see the organization flourish. Commitment is one of the main reasons that organizations should think about hiring from within their ranks. There are times, however, when hiring from without brings major benefits to a team, as long as, they show commitment to the vision and mission of your organization.

The Value of the 4 C’s

While the 4 C’s are a beneficial framework for the hiring process, this does not mean that you will never make a bad hire. Nevertheless, these parameters will help you make the right hire more often than not. This paradigm has the ability to be used by any organization at any level. As mentioned earlier, the 4 C’s can be used even for organizations who rely on volunteers.

May you find them helpful as you make your next hire.

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