Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fresh Meat

Another couple of questions from the 20 questions for leaders that Michael Smith of ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, Tennessee asked Mike Hyatt. Today they deal with new employees and hiring. How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organization?

I wish I had a profound answer to this one. I don't. Some time ago, I had a man take offense to something I did. He questioned whether I had violated Robert's Rules of Order. I suppose, if you want to take it down to the letter of the law, yes, I did, but I have grown accustomed in our organization for people to be more interested in working together in harmony than worrying about some of the finer details of Robert's Rules of Order. Had that culture been communicated to this person when he came onboard, the issue might not have come up and it would have saved us both a lot of heartache. But how do you communicate something that requires experience to learn? Write a story? Create a video? That's all I can think of, but I've tried neither. Isn't that what Nathan did when the Lord wanted David to see the problems of the culture he had created with his sin? Not the video, obviously, but the story.

When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?

Prayer. Especially in a church setting. And I usually hope that one of them will remove his name from consideration. I had a boss once who hated telling someone that we couldn't hire him, so we brought people in one at a time and the first person who met all of the qualifications got the job. As a lead on one of the projects, I was more concerned with finding someone I could work with. One applicant was highly qualified, educationally, but his English was so poor that I couldn't understand a word he said.

But in a church setting, we have that wonderful promise that it is God who sets workers in the church 1. If God is setting workers in the church then we should be letting him set. It seems like the rule rather than the exception that we pray about who should fill a position and we come up with a few names, but one by one they decline for one reason or another. Then the only person we have left isn't one of the two equally qualified best candidates, they are both gone, but someone we didn't really consider. Qualified, yes, but certainly not best, or so we think. We put this person to the task, maybe as a temporary solution and he amazes us by doing things we didn't realize he could do.