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View Staff Hiring - Life Church

Jerry Hurley on “Hiring,” Part 1

Posted: 25 Jun 2007 05:58 AM CDT

Jerry Hurley has been on our team for nine years. Before joining the staff, Jerry was a District Manager for Target. He specializes in hiring. As the leader of our Team Development, Jerry oversees hiring and training of all staff. Here is a quick interview with Jerry.

1) What do most people think is most important in hiring? Besides a deep commitment to Christ, what are the most important things you look for?

I have found when hiring, most people look for two things: experience and themselves. Don’t get me wrong—experience has its place. It just isn’t in the top four reasons to hire someone. In our hiring process we look for four P’s: Passion, Performance, Potential, and Patience.

Your Passion reflects your values. We intentionally look for people who exhibit qualities consistent with our values. We have two sets of values: core values and behavioral values. Our core values are passion, evangelism, sacrifice, community, stewardship, excellence, and integrity. We also have studied our best team members and recognize consistent behaviors that we value. Our behavioral values are a killer work ethic, resilience, flexibility, sense of humor, humility, teachability, and cultural relevance. We look hard to make sure potential team members exhibit these characteristics in their lives.

Performance is critical in any thriving, growing organization. People get performance and experience confused. A person with 15 years of experience may not be a high performer; he may have just had the same mediocre year 15 times. In the interview, questions that start with “Tell me about a time when…” can work well. Be careful to listen for specific examples, like a specific person, time, and event. A whole paragraph on theory isn’t what you’re looking for. The best predictor of future success is past success. If you don’t see it in their past, don’t expect to see it in their future.

Potential is your organization’s future. We have both objective (testing) and subjective (interview) tools to help us gauge an individual’s potential. If there’s ever a time when you have to choose between two people, all other things being equal, always choose the one with the most long-term potential. Even at the expense of short-term performance.

Patience is a virtue! Be patient; never hire a person because you’re desperate to fill a position. No matter how painful it is to be without that position filled, it will be much more expensive and painful to fill it with the wrong person.

Jerry Hurley on “Hiring,” Part 2

Posted: 26 Jun 2007 05:36 AM CDT

Jerry answers another question on hiring:

How is our hiring process different from most?

I’m not really sure how different ours is from most, but I do think every organization—church or otherwise—should have a process that reflects that specific organization. I’ll share some components of our interview process that seem to work for us:

Consistent process. We have a consistent process that is essentially the same in every location and part of the organization. Using a consistent process is important because it helps build cultural integrity, team cohesion, and team unity.

Multiple interview format. We always use a multiple interview format. The average number of interviews a person will go through at is four. We always interview in teams. For example, a Campus Pastor candidate will be interviewed by six to ten people. It can be challenging at times to come to a consensus, but it’s worth the effort. The biggest thing to watch for in team interviews is group think. The consensus process is always rigorous, challenging, and filled with passion…just as it should be.

Testing. We use a number of different tests in our hiring process. The great thing about testing is that it brings a consistent, objective, comparative element to what is inherently a very subjective process. There are two things to always keep in mind about testing. First, there should be some correlation between the test scores and performance. For example, we know that people with a positive approach to work perform better in our organization than those who don’t. One of our tests gives us important insight into a potential team member’s approach to work. Second, testing is only a tool and must be given the appropriate weight in the overall decision. It’s wrong to base a hiring decision totally on test results, and it’s equally wrong to completely disregard test results because they don’t support your perspective.

Picking People

Posted: 23 Jun 2008 05:15 AM CDT, Craig Groeschel

Selecting the right people to serve around you is one of the most important things you’ll do in ministry. The right people can help you reach many more for Christ. The wrong people can hold you back like a thousand-pound anchor.

This week, let’s discuss how to pick the right people.

Today I’ll list ten of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on selecting great people:
1.  Character is more important than giftedness.
2.  God often uses those others overlook.
3.  My wife is almost always a better judge about people than I am.
4.  Past success is a good indicator of future success.
5.  There is often a reason someone is looking for a job.
6.  Teach-ability is non-negotiable.
7.  When I’m trying to talk myself into liking someone, it’s best to move on.
8.  People from within the organization typically have a huge advantage over those who are from without.
9.  One of the best ways to attract better leaders is to become a better leader.
10.  We’re all better off when we pray, listen, and obey.

Category:Development - Tools for Growth & Administrative Systems
Category:Pastor and Staff Development