5 Tips To Find “The One” From Your Top Candidates


One of the most exciting parts of the search process is deciding which of the final candidates is best for your ministry team. However, when you have several qualified candidates from which to choose, the process can seem daunting. Here are five tips to help you determine the right fit from your final slate of qualified candidates.

1. Likeability – One of the most important questions for you and your ministry team to ask is, “Do we enjoy being around this person?” The hiring process is not a popularity contest by any means, but it is about finding the right fit for your ministry team. Most of us spend more consecutive time with our coworkers during the week than with our families. It is vital to the overall health of your staff that they enjoy spending time together.

2. Spousal Interview – Dave Ramsey’s The Lampo Group recommends a spousal interview for candidates you are seriously considering. Particularly in ministry, the spouse must be 100% supportive of the candidate’s ministry goals. This is especially true when the job requires the candidate’s family to move to a new location.

3. Team Chemistry – Facilitate conversation between the candidate and the team members he or she will relate to, report to, and oversee. Will this person have an assistant who is already on the ministry team? Make sure the assistant feels they will work well together. Does this person report to multiple executive team members? Make sure the executive team and the candidate are on the same page about expectations and outcomes for this new hire. 

4. Cultural Fit – Consider the cultural background of the candidate. Are they from the town where your church is located, or are they moving from another state or region? Texas is different from New York, and California is different from North Carolina. Be sure to talk about the differences in culture and what the candidate can expect from your community. We recommend flying the candidate and his or her spouse to the town so they get a feel for the community.

5. Boundaries – Boundaries can be difficult to define within ministry since a pastor’s professional, social, and spiritual communities are often all within his or her church. However, a healthy church staff will understand and respect the professional and personal boundaries of their fellow team members. Be sure to discuss this topic with your candidates to set expectations ahead of time.

Of course, even if you like the person, their spouse, and they are a cultural fit, you are hiring them to do a job. Each candidate on your final slate should have the skill set and experience to fulfill the job description. These five tips will help you choose between several qualified candidates who are already equipped for the job.

Do you agree with these tips? What tips do you use when choosing between qualified candidates?