Every growing organization has hiring needs. Even dying businesses and groups often need to hire. It is a part of the process of staffing any organization. There are many reasons why you may need to hire someone new. Your organization may be growing and you require more people just to handle the growth. Staff may leave, take other positions, be fired or a myriad of other reasons why you are going through a hiring process. As exciting as it can be to grow and expand, for me, the hiring process is exhausting.
I tell people that it may be the most difficult part of my job. Even though I have assistance for some of the process, there is still a certain amount of responsibility that falls to me as the senior leader. Both in the church organization that I oversee and the businesses that I own, hiring (and firing) is a challenge. There is no way to escape those challenges, but understanding them allows me to navigate through them much better. I have identified five challenges related to personnel changes and hiring that may offer you some insight in how to better lead your own organization.
This is the hardest part of personnel changes. If someone is leaving, you are either relieved or disappointed. Either way, it has relationship effects. We develop relationships with our co-workers. It is almost unavoidable. Even when no one is leaving, new relationships are required when new employees join our organization. Starting new relationships can be exciting and exhausting all together. There is a certain risk involved anytime you enter into a new relationship. As the organization grows and personnel changes, we must make new relationships and let go of others.
Managing budgets brings joy to some and frustration to others. When it comes to hiring, often our needs or desires for the right person has to be balanced with what the organization can afford. Though we need certain skills or desire certain experience, being able to pay for those skills and experience is completely different. Often as leaders our desires greatly outpace our financial ability. The money challenge can be frustrating, but it is a part of the process that must be addressed.
Every person affects culture. The people who are in place operate within a set culture for your organization. One new hire has an affect on that culture. There is a certain amount of fear involved in bringing in new people because we understand that a single person can harm, and sometimes destroy, a good work environment. Our only other option is to stagnate which has its own effect. A good hiring process will go to great lengths to protect the culture as new people join your team.
Certain skills are hard to evaluate through the interview process. People generally attempt to be at their best while being interviewed. They are looking for a job. Often we have to make a decision based on limited information. The church where I pastor used to cast a congregational vote on a potential pastor after he had preached one sermon. If a pastor does not have one good sermon, he should consider some alternate career options. Some of the members of the church shared with me that they voted for a new pastor one time after hearing him preach and it turned out to be the only good sermon he had. One of the reasons we are making a new hire is to accomplish certain tasks that require certain skills. Making sure we get someone who is proficient requires diligence.
Firing is directly related to hiring. We may be hiring because someone was fired. Or we may hire someone that needs to be fired. I have heard it said that the only thing worse than hiring the wrong person is not firing the wrong person. One of the risks in hiring someone new is that they may not work out and they may need to be terminated. In my position at church, often the people we hire are moving great distances and relocating their families. When they do not work out, the guilt can be a great hinderance in letting them go. We have asked them to uproot their family and now we are sending them away. This can be especially painful if you avoid confrontation. Sometimes you make the wrong choice and termination is your only option. Don’t allow the fear of it not working out keep you from seeking to do what is best for your organization.
Though hiring brings with it challenges, it is also an opportunity for us to grow as leaders and improve our organization. We have a responsibility as leaders to lead. Leading requires growth, change and overcoming challenges. Accept the challenge of hiring and make it work for your organization. Do not allow it to paralyze you and stop you from achieving your mission.