Steps To Avoid Hiring Disasters

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If you’re in charge of hiring someone, you've likely faced the paradoxical excitement of hiring the right person mixed with the dread that lingers if you choose poorly. The Harvard Business Review recently published an article on avoiding hiring disasters to help managers lessen the anxiety that often accompanies a new hire. There are some great applications here that are meant for the corporate world, but translate well to most churches or para-church organizations.

Here are some of the expert insights we gleaned from the article that we believe might help you in your hiring efforts.

Patience. Taking time to hire for a position is key. Often, organizations want to desperately fill any gaps that may exist and in doing so, neglect a proper timeline to receive ideal candidates. While intuition certainly plays a role in hiring the right person, simply asking a few questions and determining an interviewee would be adequate may cost you more time in the end. Waiting for the best person could take some time in the beginning, but will save you the hassle of repeating the hiring process if a mistake is made.

Behavior before Skills. It’s easy to size up someone based on their credentials, but by ignoring behavior analysis, you may be putting the chemistry of your team or organization at risk. Ask questions about how a candidate has resolved conflict with superiors and subordinates, or how he or she has recovered from mistakes. Does it seem as if they accept responsibility or do they shift the blame? Those simple questions can help you avoid personality clashes in the future.

Integrate New Hires. In today’s economy, it’s typical for a new employee to receive a human resources download, but often it’s sink-or-swim. Team members share in the training burden and no expectations are set, which can be frustrating for the new hire and those he or she works and serves with. Integrating a new hire into the culture, processes, and nuances of your organization and qualifying expectations up front for the first 30, 60, or 90 days will remove some of the stress of learning the ropes and will also allow you to measure productivity.

It may seem like a lot of time to invest up front, but by creating a process of evaluating your specific needs, realizing skills can be taught but behavior is difficult to modify and coaching new hires through their first few months on the job, you’re saving yourself time, and your organization or church money (not to mention frustration) in the long run. Hiring mistakes can be learning processes in and of themselves, so by talking with other hiring managers in your organization or other key leaders in the church, you may learn a valuable lesson or two.