5 Ways Church Leaders Can Spot High-Capacity Candidates
By: Brian Dunks
Every day, I get to help church leaders in the process of church staffing. And consistently, these leaders want to hire what we call "high-capacity" team members. Dictionary.com defines capacity as “the ability to receive or contain; the power of receiving impressions or knowledge; mental ability; actual ability to perform, yield, or withstand.” Capacity includes natural gifts and abilities, particular skill sets, measured experiences, and passions that rally around a job description and give the candidate every opportunity to succeed.
The term “high-capacity” takes these qualities to another level of excellence. We say a candidate is high-capacity when they substantially meet or exceed the criteria established for the position. A high-capacity ministry candidate also has a track record of excellence and high-performance in their previous positions.
When you surround yourself with high-capacity hires, you and your entire staff will elevate. Hiring one truly high-capacity person - though they can be hard to find - can take the influence and impact of your ministry further than an entire busload of adequate ones.
Here are five traits of high-capacity ministry candidates. Look for these attributes as you interview for your church staff.
1. High-capacity people will understand the goals of your ministry.
Excellent minstry candidates will research your church before an interview, understand your mission & vision, and get excited about how they can help you pursue that mission. They will fulfill your expectations as a natural by-product of fulfilling their own. High-capacity people have a well-aimed radar that puts a higher premium on excellent results. In contrast, low-capacity people don’t fulfill your team's needs and end up giving back portions of their responsibilities.
2. High-capacity people will push to raise the bar of excellence.
They will also inspire less-capable members of the team to do the same. The bar of excellence may be raised externally by those who are reviewing performance or by high-capacity people who naturally raise the bar in their own pursuit of personal growth. In contrast, low-capacity people may not even know where the bar is set or what bar you are talking about.
3. High-capacity people are solution-oriented.
One of our core vales here at Vanderbloemen is "Solution-side living." High-capacity people are focused on finding solutions, not creating problems. If they don’t know the answer to something, they will find it. They are relentless learners. The Harvard Business Review has identified a “catalytic learning capability” among high-potential candidates and has stated that they “have the capacity to scan for new ideas, the cognitive ability to absorb them, and the common sense to translate that new learning into productive action.” On the flipside, low-capacity people lack an action or solution-orientation.
4. High-capacity people speak the language of performance & push success.
To truly high-potential employees, good - even very good - isn’t good enough. Because they are driven to succeed, they will stay true to their values and are more than willing to go the extra mile in order to advance the mission and vision of your church. Low-capacity people speak the language of status quo and require you to push them toward any type of progress.
5. High-capacity people will consistently outperform others.
They are always searching for productive ways to blaze new paths. They are adventurous, taking on challenges outside their comfort zone and accepting unique assignments that demand new sets of skills. Low-capacity people will be satisfied with following and will seldom take risks requiring the development of new skills.
One caveat here: when you combine a drive to excel with a tenacious spirit that loves to find new approaches, it can also lead to frustration for you or your team. If you and your team are satisfied with a status-quo, there will likely be friction with a new, high-capacity team member. High-capacity people won't be satisfied with a position where their ideas are constantly squashed or there's no room for growth.