10 Practical Tips for Recruiting Your Team

Are you searching for a new team member? Perhaps you’re looking for a new hire or key volunteer to help you move forward. Let me offer a few helpful tips.

  1. Pray – This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’m a slow learner on this one. Too often I race ahead and search for the right person on my own. Then I resort to prayer when I get stuck. Instead, why not ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest field? Not surprisingly, when I’ve prayed sometimes the right name has come to mind, or the right person has shown up out of nowhere.
  2. Make It Personal – Blanket announcements and advertisements can work, but a personal invitation takes things to an entirely different level. Personally asking someone to consider a role ensures awareness of the opportunity and expresses a compliment. It can also encourage someone who has already self-selected themselves out to reconsider.
  3. Don’t Lower the Bar – Don’t give in to desperation. Keep your expectations clear and high. Lowering the bar to get a position filled usually comes back to haunt you. You get what you ask for. You may also frustrate the new person if you get them on board with one set of expectations only to switch to higher expectations. Also, when you lower the bar your ideal candidates may self-select out because the role isn’t a challenge.
  4. Listen to Dissenting Voices – You may feel this person is an all-star but take time to listen to others, especially those with wisdom and discernment. Often time I’ve found that other people have picked up on key things that I couldn’t but needed to see. One rule of thumb for key roles is to have at least 3 people interview a candidate, engage the candidate at least 3 times and see the candidate in at least 3 different contexts.
  5. Don’t Say Someone Else’s No for Them – Sometimes we don’t ask people because we think they’d never say yes. By presenting the opportunity and giving them a chance to pray and respond you can sometimes be wonderfully surprised.
  6. Get Your Team Recruiting – Team members who are passionate about your mission have a vested interest in seeing the mission move forward with a healthy team. They also have more combined contacts than you do, and they have a unique perspective about the role to share with their peers. Mobilize them!
  7. Create Shallow End Opportunities – Too often we ask people to jump into the deep end of the pool and get surprised when they say no. Instead, try creating some shallow end, low-risk opportunities they can say yes to. For example, instead of asking a potential children’s ministry volunteer to commit to a year with the grade five boy’s class, ask them to come to a 30-minute meeting about the vision of the children’s ministry or to be a helper for one Sunday. A small investment can start a process, and it helps discern compatibility.
  8. Don’t Look for Clones – There’s already one of you so don’t focus your search on finding someone just like you. Be very open to someone who could complement and bring something extra to the team. Also, when you are replacing someone, don’t look for their clone. That person likely doesn’t exist, and God might provide a different person who brings freshness to the role.
  9. Match Calling, Passion and Giftedness to the Role – Putting a square peg into a round hole can be done, but neither the peg nor hole will thrive long-term. Don’t overlook or shortchange someone’s calling or passion because of your own short-term need. Be sure the person’s calling, passion and giftedness match the role.
  10. Don’t Sell Character Short – It can be intoxicating to imagine someone with great competency joining your team. Same with chemistry. If you wonderfully connect with someone, there can be an instant bond. In either case, whatever you do, don’t sell character short. The costs of addressing character shortfalls can be enormous. Be patient, discerning and prayerful in God for wisdom and seeking counsel from colleagues.

Cheering you on!

Dr. Steve A. Brown

President, Arrow Leadership