Hiring new employees. Most leaders have a love-hate relationship with the hiring process. It’s exciting to bring in new team members, but in other ways it can be daunting to make such an important decision.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for leaders to bring the team together for early phases of the hiring process. In fact, we recommend it. Allowing existing team members to spend time with candidates allows you to leverage your teams’ diverse strengths and look for potential team chemistry issues. This process works well, as long as it doesn’t become a crutch for you as a leader.
Whether you’re an inexperienced leader or just lack experience in the hiring process, it can be tempting to shift hiring decisions to a democratic team vote. After all, you’re a team, right? All for one and one for all! But, group hiring decisions rarely end well. Although getting the “advice of many others” seems to make sense, there can be pitfalls to this approach. While employee input is valuable early on, the final responsibility for hiring resides with you, the ministry team leader.
Your subordinates, despite their knowledge, will typically apply short-term biases and preferences that can influence their judgment during the hiring process. The average employee is often prioritizing team chemistry first and foremost. While chemistry is a key factor, it cannot be the deciding factor.
Leaders on the other hand, should possess a more comprehensive understanding of the organization’s goals, culture, and specific skill requirements. This filter enables them to make a more objective and informed assessment of candidates, focusing on the best interests of the ministry and its culture.
Hiring decisions should also align with your organization’s strategic objectives. In your role as the leader, you possess the team’s most profound insights into the long-term goals of your ministry. Yes, your employees can identify candidates who possess the skills, experience, and potential to contribute to these goals. But, the leader’s birds-eye view of the team’s strengths and weaknesses should dictate how to build the most strategic team.
While employee involvement is always valuable, you as the leader should retain the ultimate responsibility for the final hiring decision. This ensures objectivity, strategic alignment, and adherence to culture values, benefiting both the organization and its employees. It also sends a message to your team that you have a clear vision for the future.
Pro Tip: Never take a public vote on a potential hire. This is the quickest way to sabotage your authority as a leader and introduce team conflict where none was warranted.