What do you look for when hiring a staff member?

Bill Hybels says that you should look for the “Three C’s” in a person: Competency, Character and Chemistry.  Of course all of these are important traits to look for.  However, I believe one of them is often overlooked.

In a corporate world dominated by performance reviews and deadlines, chemistry often takes a back seat to competency and character.  Obviously to do a job well, one must have competency.  To keep said job, one must display a certain amount of character to gain the trust of their superiors and respect from peers.  The reality is, it doesn’t matter how well a person performs or how much integrity they have.  If they are constantly going against the DNA of the organization, it affects everyone starting with team morale.  Wayne Hedlund says,

“When you have a team player that is high in chemistry with you and your organization, you will very likely have little relational conflict. Conversely, when chemistry is low, conflict will likely abound.”

This is not a dig at a person’s competence or character.  In fact, we see people who do mediocre in one organization and yet at the next, they succeed incredibly.  It’s same person with the same character and competency.  The difference is chemistry.  While a person may be a C+ on your team, they are an A+ for another.

Ultimately it starts with having a good process in place when interviewing team members to avoid the chemistry fail.  Here are a few things to remember:

    • Never interview alone.  How many times have two people had a conversation and both left with a different understanding of what was said and discussed.  You may really like a candidate and your associate may get an entirely different opinion.
    • Honor the process.  Some people are professional interviewers. Have an evaluative process in place and don’t rush it because you need to fill a spot.
  • Change the scenery.  See how different people react to different environments throughout the process.  Change the setting and the people doing the interviews to see how the candidate responds accordingly to the team and setting.


Justin Trapp

Founder at Ministry Pass
Husband to Tisha, Father to Shiloh and founder of Ministry Pass.
Justin Trapp