Staffing is a great challenge for any leader or organization. In my work with pastors I am often asked questions about staffing. Who should I hire? When should I hire? Should I hire from within or look outside? Here are a few principles to consider.
1. Know your current strengths and weaknesses prior to hiring.
Don’t hire a person because you like them, because they are talented, or because they are available. Know exactly what you already have and exactly what it is that you need. Duplicating the skill set of your current staff with a new hire will not move you forward. What sorts of skills, strengths and gifts are needed to strengthen your team? Fill in these gaps. This begins with knowing what you already have.
2. Hire from within if you are looking to preserve your culture.
If you have a built a strong DNA and have a pool of people who love and understand your culture then first look to hire from within.
3. Hire from outside if you want to change your culture.
Sometimes a church or organization needs an infusion of outside thinking. For example, if your youth ministry is notoriously ineffective, hiring a person from outside who will bring new ideas, energy, and enthusiasm might make sense.
4. Consider Character, Competence, and Chemistry.
Character: Is this person’s practice consistent with his profession? Character can be pretty well-known with an inside hire. An insider has been observed over the course of years and is a part of your community. Character is difficult, however, to vet throughly with an outside hire. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hire from outside but should understand the challenges.
Competence: Does this person have the proven skill set to do what he is being asked to do? Competence is proven with an outside hire as a track record of performance has been established. This is the big unknown, however, with an inside hire. Does a faithful insider have the skill set that is truly required?
Chemistry: How well does the person fit in the current culture and community? How well does will this person fit with the current team and current organization? Chemistry can be well-known with an inside hire as the person is already a part of your culture and community. Chemistry is difficult, however, to know with an outside hire and is one of the great challenges in hiring from the outside. Sometimes an outside hire fits fell and sometimes there is a chemistry train wreck.
There is no right and wrong/better or worse concerning hiring from within or from the outside. There is, however, much to consider.
What else have you learned in this area? Feel free to share.
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