A Christian CEO's Guide to Recruiting
Everywhere I turn, business leaders are having trouble finding and retaining good people. Maybe you are too. We often think the best way to recruit and keep good people is simply by paying well. While this is important, we’ve found when we provide genuine, healthy relationships and a purpose-driven atmosphere, people want to work for us and keep working with us.
It’s a long game
Sometimes you don’t have a particular opening at the moment, but you know that you’ll need a specific skill set in the future. It’s never too early to plant the seed with someone you feel will fit the organization and live its vision. For example, when our company started to grow, I knew we would need a godly, capable Chief Financial Officer.
Through interactions at church, I got to know our current CFO, Chad, and I witnessed his wisdom and character as we served on the church board together. I knew he was the type of person I would want to work with in the future. So, even before I was ready to hire him, I began dropping hints. I’d casually ask, “When are you going to come work with us?” He always chuckled and told me he was happy where he was. But I knew I was planting the seed: I knew he had the traits we wanted, and he knew we wanted him.
Share the vision and their part in it
Let’s face it, people need to put food on the table and have every right to succeed financially, and I don’t blame anyone for doing so. But I’ve found that the people who last in our family of companies can attach themselves to the vision God has placed before us. Our team is strongest when we all realize we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s why I try to paint a picture of how a person we want will not only fit in but contribute in significant ways to our purpose.
As Chad and I got to know each other, we built trust. He learned about how God was uniquely placing us to reach people. As we worked side by side to strengthen our local church, our relationship grew. Consequently, when Chad came to a crossroads in his career, our conversation about him joining the team was a natural one. We both knew God had been laying the groundwork for us to work together. The timing was right: Chad was ready for a vocational change, and our company was prepared for our new CFO. Only God could orchestrate the timing and relational dynamics that lead to an invaluable partnership.
A note about compensation talks
There’s a very simple reason I don’t begin talks with potential team members by bringing up the proposed salary: If I make that part the priority, then I’m sending the message that money is the primary reason we exist. It’s not. We value people more than the bottom line. It’s important to pay people well, and we do that. However, I don’t want to cave to the temptation to throw money at a special recruit. Ultimately, I have a fiscal responsibility to steward our company’s resources. My team and I focus on building a company culture that attracts great people and the compensation follows.
When we have staffing needs, we focus our recruiting efforts on people who we believe have the best chance of attaining personal success in our businesses. I can sleep at night knowing that we are attracting some of the most talented people who also happen to fit our culture well.
What kinds of things do you look for when you’re hiring?