Discipline of Hiring – Recruiting & Interviewing

Dr. Glenn Miller, host of the Leadership and the Church podcast, and CEO of Miller Management, is joined by his colleague Tracy Hale, CEO at Youth Volunteer Corps.

The Discipline of Hiring in Ministry – part three


How do you go about finding the right people?

First, create your persona – the visual of that person – and then go there. Don’t expect them to come to you. And remember to cast your net wide.

Follow Jesus’ example. Wait, Jesus didn’t hire people you say? “No,” our guest agrees with you, “Jesus didn’t hire people, but he did make direct asks.” He said, “Come, follow me.” Also, Tracy reminds us, “pray for the right candidate, pray for the right timing, and pray for patience.”

So, should we hire from within, someone we know, or automatically hire from the outside?

When hiring from the inside, the benefits of hiring from the inside include you know the person; the potential risk to hiring from the inside is, you know the person. You know the person’s strengths and weaknesses. “I think sometimes we don’t hire from within because we know too much about the candidate,” our host laments.

Hiring from the outside does have its benefits, including: new blood and new ideas. Risks include you really don’t know the person or their strengths or weaknesses; you really don’t know what you are getting into.

Sometimes we get to this stage, but haven’t completed step one (formulating your success criteria) or step two (forming a ministry description), and that makes it harder to complete step three (attracting the right people).

“Always go back to your success criteria,” our guest reminds us. After you’ve seen a ton of resumes, you may forget what you are supposed to be looking for. Refocus on what your organization actually needs. You may event want to implement a three folder system to match against your success criteria. A “yes,” a “maybe,” and a “no” folder to help with this process.

“Is is wise to look at social media?” Our host asks in reference to looking at your candidates online presence. And our guest answers, “I think it’s an absolute miss if you don’t look at their social media.” Everyone else is looking on social, your constituents, your employees, so you should too. Also, it’s legal.


“This is the fun part, everything before has been planning the plays, now your in the game,” Tracy says.

Before you even ask someone to come in, know who should be involved in the interviews. Know what format you are going to use and how many interviews you’ll need. Be flexible – especially if it’s job specific or you’re down to a few good candidates, mix it up.

The Tracy Way: Find a way to get your candidate into the game to see what what they are made of. As a field assessment. Give them job specific tasks and see how they do.

Developing the Interviewing Questions

Creating three questions per success criteria is Tracy’s recommendation. Might not need all three, but have them available if you want clarification on an answer.

4 tips to develop our skillset as the interviewer

First, don’t hire your Russian/nesting doll. The theory of hiring someone who is not quite as smart as you are, who fits into the box just a little smaller than you. Our guest warns us not to do that, definitely hire someone who is smarter than you. It is better for the organization.

Second, ask for opposing evidence. 10-12 seconds after you meet someone, you either like someone, or you don’t. Now you have glasses you’re looking through the rest of the interview. You find out more when you don’t think they can do the job and they prove it to you.

Third, walk them through the process of how the interview will go. It will calm their nerves, and set up both people for success. You also need to sell yourself as the manager and sell the company, the power has shifted these days.

Lastly, go back to your success criteria, trust your gut, and pray for discernment. You can’t just hire someone you like, but you can’t avoid your success criteria; or you’ll be right back at the beginning of this process all over again.

Coming Up Next

This month is all about tangible steps to be able to walk out your mission and vision more effectively through utilizing these disciplines of hiring. The final week will be devoted to Assessing the Candidates and Forming an Effective Offer.

Join the conversation, see behind the scenes, and learn more on our Instagram and Twitter.

Special thanks to our guest, Tracy Hale, and our master of all things podcasting, Chris Miller, for this introductory episode in The Discipline of Hiring in Ministry series.