FAQ: Hiring

Question: Our organization is starting the process of hiring another employee.  Any tips for hiring the right person for the job?

Answer: Congratulations! No doubt you’ve put a lot of work into getting here-- I know you and your board have worked hard to raise the money to make it possible.  Hiring a new employee is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking: you’re going to put a lot of resources into training and paying this new person—you want to make sure he or she can take the ball and run with it.

Well, there are no guarantees that your new hire will be everything you wished for and more, but there are a lot of things you can do before the hiring process even begins that will help ensure that you pick the best available candidate.

First, think through what you want the new hire to be doing as completely as possible before you write the job description. Consider not only new work that needs to be done, but also how to redistribute what is already on your plate.  Get suggestions and hands-on help from your board, think about what KIND of person you’d like to work with or would be best suited for the job, look at job descriptions posted by other organizations, do a lot of reading about the best interview questions to ask…. Give yourself plenty of time to do this task, because in hiring, preparation is key.

Secondly, when you start the hiring process, make sure you have a hiring committee who can interview applicants with you.  You’d be surprised at what other people notice when talking to a candidate—the more eyes and ears you have, the better. A prescreening phone interview with each candidate will probably be helpful in addition to an in-person interview.  Also, ask for at least three professional references, and take the time to call each of them and ask a bunch of questions—don’t be shy!

And finally, after you’ve made the hiring decision, set your new employee up for success by setting aside plenty of time to train them.

Of course, there are many, many books and websites about hiring the right person—one we like here at Georgia River Network is Match by Dan Erling.

Good luck with your new hire!