3 Priorities for Hiring Good Team Members

When adding people to your organization. Look for these three things (in the order listed!):

  1. Character
  2. Chemistry (organizational fit)
  3. Competency

Talent doesn’t matter if there is a deficiency of character or the person does not fit your culture.


“Write The Perfect Want Ad” – Simon Sinek


3 C’s of hiring

Orange Brown leaf at Brown Gables 2013“We hire people for what they know and then fire them for who they are.” *

Peter Drucker said in one of his many books that of ALL the decisions that an executive makes, the people decisions are the most important. Jim Collins in his book Good to Great emphasizes the importance of exercising discipline in the hiring process because it is so very important who you bring onto your team. Time and again, we are reminded of the importance to our organizations of how we select people and who we select.

There are three C’s I recommend you consider and they are listed in order of importance:

Character: You must absolutely hire for character. You can teach people skills, you can send them to school and so on, however, there is not much you can do about their character. If you choose skills over character, you will always lose and your organization will suffer.

Chemistry: A very important element is how well will the person fit with your team. I have seen several times people of high character and great skills not make it in an organization because of the chemistry. They just did not fit. This often is not a bad or good thing, it’s just that we are all different and different organizational cultures fit us better.

Competency: This is the obvious one – do they have the skills you need or do they have the potential of learning and growing into what your organization needs? Again, often here you are looking for potential.

And for ministry there is a fourth C – Calling. Ministry, as those of you in ministry know, can be very, very difficult. If you are not called it can become very hard – on the person and on the ministry. I have seen times when great people want to join a ministry because the Lord used that ministry to do a deep work in their lives. If they are actually called by the Lord to that ministry, then that is great. However, if they are not called, then it can become hard and discouraging.

So think about these “C’s” as you are considering your hiring process. Are you considering the right things in the right order as you add people to your team?

Have a great rest of the week!

* – this is a great quote and it is not mine but I have forgotten the source.

Don’t Hire For Talent

Good Monday morning to you!  It has been an absolutely beautiful weekend here in southwest Michigan!  We had fun watching a baby robin learn to fly.  He must not be in the advanced class as he flew right into the side of the garage – he was a little stunned but soon recovered.

The young robin recovering after flying into the side of the garage.

Hiring the right people is the most important decision you make as a leader in an organization – but we often use the wrong criteria.  Most of us go for talent or skill sets first.  That is almost irrelevant!  Surprising statement?  Well, it seems that the organizations that hire well and have low turnover select people first on the basis of their character.  One software company has a VP of engineering who had degrees in theater and anthropology!  In fact this company now has seven non-negotiables when they hire: (click here to read a great article about how this company chooses their people)

1. Respect,

2. Belief,

3. Loyalty,

4. Commitment,

5. Trust,

6. Courage and

7. Gratitude.

See anything about skill sets there? Nope, I did not either.

It is more about who people are than what they know that should be most important to you. Hire people of character and then train them to do what you need done.

Hope it is an outstanding week for you this week!

3 Things to Look For – Plus 1

Hope your weekend is getting off to a great start.  Today is the day we put up our Christmas tree – a big day in the Allen household!!

What do you look for in a new member of your team?  In an earlier post, I discussed the three basic things you need to look for:

Character, Chemistry, and Competency.

However, in a ministry or a nonprofit, where most people sacrifice in order to serve there – you need one more thing: Calling.

Does the prospective team member have a “calling” to your cause?  Are they passionate about the cause?  Can they go without talking about the cause?  Is it “in their blood”?

Serving in ministry or a nonprofit usually costs someone something – if they don’t have a calling on their life for the cause, they probably won’t last.


3 C’s of Hiring

We hire people for what they know and then fire them for who they are.”

Have you found this statement to be true?  You have hired someone who is highly talented, but they don’t work out because of character issues? Or maybe they just don’t fit your culture?

The three C’s are fairly well known, but seemingly not well practiced.  They are (in order of importance):




Most of us seem to know this, but if you look at most hiring systems, all the documentation revolves around the third C – competency or job skills.  If you truly believe that character is foundational and that chemistry is key to a healthy team, then you need to rebuild your human systems to reflect this type thinking.

Until you do, you will continue to bring on talented people and then wonder why they did not work out.

Blessings on your week!!