Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring


Take the time to hire the right person

I remember a time in my organization where we were looking to add to our staff.  After reviewing many applicants we narrowed the field down to three.  After more contemplation and grueling interviews, we made an offer to what we “thought” was our best choice.  He accepted the position and we began moving forward.  He seemed to everyone on the executive team as the person that would add the greatest value to our organization and he seemed to be a fit for all of us.  WOW…where we wrong.

This individual wasn’t a fit at all.  The value I hoped that he would add just wasn’t there.  If I could do it all over again I would not hire that individual and I would have saved us money and time and even some hurt feelings.  One of the greatest decisions a leader must make is hiring the right person.  I have heard it said that “people are always the problem and they are always the solution.”  If you want to move forward with your organization and you want to go to the top, it will be strongly dependent on the people you hire.

Here are some pitfalls to avoid in your hiring process:

Don’t hire out of desperation
Often we put the word out, go through the interviewing process and find that there isn’t much out there.  So we are left to settle for the lesser of two evils.  We end up throwing good judgment out the window and make a hire in desperation to fill the need.  This move will, in the end, cost you more than if you had waited.  Be careful not to make this fatal mistake.

Don’t ignore your personal feelings or gut reaction
If you don’t like a candidate in the initial interview – when the person should be at their best – chances are you won’t like the person later.  I am not saying everything rises and falls on your first meeting, but don’t be afraid to go with your intuition.

Don’t hire someone who has the ability but lacks the people skills
I always say that you can teach someone to run a computer or to organize an event, but it is very difficult to teach someone people skills.  I would rather have someone who needs a few weeks of training to get caught up, but is great with people, than someone who is technically advanced but socially unfit.  Be careful not to let your good judgment be blinded by someone’s great ability.  Their inability to connect with others may cost you more then they can achieve.

Don’t be vague
When you hire someone don’t be in such a hurry that you become vague about their roles and responsibilities.  It is important that they know exactly what they are getting into and what is expected of them.  If you are not clear about your expectations then you will be setting the relationship up for frustration.  Be clear, put it in writing and hold them accountable to it.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


“You can buy a man’s time; you can even buy his physical presence at a given place, but you cannot buy enthusiasm…you cannot buy loyalty…you cannot buy devotion of hearts, minds or souls.”
Charles Frances


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on October 30, 2009, in choices, Leadership, Team, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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