three c’s

By April 29, 2008Church

I spent several days this past week interviewing potential candidates for two job openings at Blue Haven.

Task number one was to sift through the mountain of resumes we received. After going through the first dozen or so, I half-expected to receive at least one or two from a Rear Admiral or nuclear physicist. And this was my stack of resumes for an entry-level position. Maybe next time I’ll thin out the competition if I put “No Ph.D. required.”

Then came the interviews. I’m probably one of the rare birds who actually likes interviews. I enjoy the give and take, as well as watching how people respond to questions they might not have expected.

When I’m interviewing potential employees, I’m looking for three specific things. The list I’m about to share didn’t originate with me. I first heard this explained by Bill Hybels at a pastor’s conference in Seattle. It made such good sense, that I decided to adopt it as my own approach to selecting leaders — or hiring people.

Character. Does the person I’m thinking about selecting seem to have good character? Is this a person I could trust? Will they be a person of integrity?

Chemistry. How would I feel about sharing an office with this person for eight or more hours a day? Is there a sense that we would enjoy working together? Do I think they would drive me crazy!

Competence. Do they have the skills to do the job? Do they have an aptitude for learning new things?

They are listed in the exact order of importance. If a person has competent skills but lacks character, I’ll take a pass. If a person has character and is definitely competent, is there enough chemistry to where we could work well together? Generally speaking, competence can be gained through training and coaching; character is not so easily learned at a conference.

What is true in hiring new employees, is also true in selecting ministry leaders or when looking for a husband or wife. Too often people compromise by choosing competence or chemistry over character.

But when you have all three ingredients in good measure … watch out! You have the makings of a true blessing.