Top 7 MISHAPS in Recruiting

Growing churches are always in recruitment mode. Healthy churches are led by healthy teams who love their work. But how do you recruit the best people to add to your team? There are several things you can do to help, including partnering with Slingshot Group.


Here are 7 mishaps many leaders are guilty of in the search process:


1.Moving too slow: Those who hesitate often lose out on top-level talent. Great people are being pursued by others. Be sure to demonstrate urgency in the process of recruiting. Proactive and responsive communication fuels a positive experience with the candidate.

Tip: Book the site visit if you are 70% confident in the candidate. This assures the candidate you are serious.


2. Over interviewing: Overanalysis will wear candidates out. Too many interviews by too many people requiring too many things will cause top-level people to question the culture. Determine a streamlined process that is not riddled in fear of making a wrong decision. Faithful confidence after realistic due diligence is always best.

Tip: Keep casual conversations and correspondence short and sweet. Long, overly administrative kinds of emails asking for more “homework” can be a put-off to candidates. Don’t forget to keep Jesus in the center of it all.


3. Lack of access to the lead pastor: The best people want to have access to the “top dog.” Be sure to provide quality time between the candidate and the lead pastor even if they won’t be reporting directly to him/her. They want to hear from the key influencer not only the direction of the church, but how he/she treats others and influences culture.

Tip: Facilitate a personal call or meeting with the lead pastor within a week of the first positive encounter. And on the site visit schedule some more personal time (like a meal) including spouses.


4. A preoccupation with candidate’s capabilities: People will always be drawn to a staff culture where they feel valued for what they do, but more importantly, who they are. One of the ways to show that you value them as a person is to get to know them personally as much as what they can contribute to your team professionally. This includes taking time to know the spouse.

Tip: Ask great questions that mine out the things they love most in life. For example: What was it like growing up in your family? What is your greatest “trophy” in life? Tell me about your biggest influencers in life? If you weren’t in ministry what do you think you would be doing? What fuels you most?


5. Focusing on your past success/failures rather than your vision for the future: Leaders who focus so much on the past are less likely to appeal to top talent. Those who are forward-thinking dreamers are the ones who attract staff who are builders of people and programs.

Tip: A clearly defined vision is what compels the best people. Ambiguity elevates risk in the minds of the candidate. Provide written documents regarding the church’s vision and values as well as a clearly defined job description that sets them up for success.


6. Bad first impressions: Realize that great candidates have done their homework in advance regarding who you are as a church and its general location. Interviewers tend to exhaust candidates with over communication of the back story and overselling why their church is so awesome. And when it comes to the site visit, remember that less is more. A jam-packed schedule with no downtime is often a recipe for exhaustion, especially as Sunday rolls around.

Tip: Plan in advance how to best manage first impressions. That begins with including the right personalities who will woo top-level talent without trying to sell them. Perhaps that means including non-staff (but like-minded) people in the process.


7. Unrealistic expectations: Though good leaders bring out the best of people, they also realize that for others to flourish, they need to be provided a work environment that is healthy. That means a job description that sets them up for success in every dimension of life.



Tip: Hire the best people who have a specialized talent and let them flourish in a job that truly is their “sweet spot.” At least 70% of their work time should be spent on what they love most.

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