3 Questions I Ask When Hiring Staff

During the hiring process for staff, do you take the time to make sure a prospective employee's personality is a good fit for your team?
During the hiring process for staff, do you take the time to make sure a prospective employee's personality is a good fit for your team? (iStock photo )

As a ministry leader, there may reach a point where you need to add a staff member to your team. This seems easy enough.

Yet I've found that it's not as easy as it may appear. The mix of personalities on a team is a delicate balance. And adding to a team is like a chemistry experiment ... the right mix results in a great team. The wrong mix results in explosive chaos.

That's primarily why the interview process for me is pretty long. When adding a staff member to the team, I've never regretted taking a long time. But, I've often regretted not taking enough. (Have you ever made a poor hire? Here are some thoughts on leadership mistakes and how to recover.)

Like a missing puzzle piece, the underlying question to hiring is whether or not the candidate you're interviewing is the right fit to complete the picture. And that takes time to determine.

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I don't claim to be an expert on hiring staff. But I've had a few experiences that change the way I hire, what I'm looking for and the questions I ask myself through the process.

This post is not an exhaustive list of the interview process and how I 'vet' prospective staff members. It's just three primary questions I'm asking through the interview process that help me determine whether or not they fit within our team.

1. Do their skills complement the team? There are a variety of ways to determine if the candidate's skill level is what you need. The key is finding those assessments and trusting their results. But skill isn't limited to the needs of the role. It's good to look for skills that also complement the rest of the team. You might find a candidate whose skills for the position are a great match yet they may not round out the team well. This is important to consider. Your team will go further as a unit when their skills strongly compliment each other.

2. Does their personality fit with the team? This is a component that I would argue is equally as important as skill set. Personality has dramatic impact on how a team operates. If personalities don't mesh, the team will struggle to work together. I like to imagine everyone in a sandbox together. How well will they work to build a sandcastle? Will they work with each other or against each other?

3. Could I go on a road trip w/this person (and not want to kick them off the bus)? This is my own personal question. If skills are a fit ... personality is a fit ... then I have to ask myself personally, can I spend copious amounts of time with this person? That's because I will. As a team, we will spend lots of time in the office together, in meetings, at summer camp, on staff retreats, helping each other, supporting each other, cheering each other. The list goes on.

The point is ... the group of people you bring closest to you must be people you enjoy being around. That's what makes a good team great.

Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children's ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. For the original article, visit ginamcclain.com.

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