Whether selecting staff for a full-time position or short-term setting, hiring is critical to your success. We believe that our CentriKid summer staff are the greatest asset to our program, so our selection process is very important to us.
I’ve chatted with other camp organizations (Kanakuk, Pine Cove, YMCA) and also companies hiring employees who are in the same demographic of our summer camp staff (Apple, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A). Although there are no guarantees, you can improve your odds of making great hires by finding out answers to these questions. These factors apply for volunteer positions as well. You don’t want volunteers in your church or ministry that cannot be counted on.
Here are 6 questions you need to ask before hiring your next employee:
- Are there character issues? Character is the number one factor in any situation … we won’t compromise here.
- Does his chemistry fit our team? There are lots of great folks out there who just aren’t a fit for the team or the culture you are creating. Make sure that new teammates will be a valuable addition, not a source of unnecessary tension.
- Is he able to do the work we need done? Competence is too often sacrificed just because the applicant is a friend or a good person. Although competence doesn’t rise higher than character, it is a must-have. We train extensively for summer camp, but we can’t start from scratch. Even for folks with little experience, I work to find out if the applicant can demonstrate an ability to accomplish things in other areas of life.
- Is this person teachable? Many jobs have “other duties as assigned” that require flexibility and skill development. Particularly in full-time positions, the job may change during the tenure of this employee so you want to have a person who can adapt and grow with a changing situation….not one who is stuck in the past or resistant to change.
- Does he have computer skills? Our work and ministry require much more online content to be developed and delivered, and it will only increase as technology continues to evolve. Make sure your teammates can function in the online world because it is a must for the future.
- Can he demonstrate a strong work ethic? In an interview setting, work ethic is one of the toughest things to determine because an applicant will always answer questions with what you want to hear. Time spent on an project is a great way to determine work ethic, and another way to gain some insight is to find out about what the applicant considers “a tough project they had to work really hard on.”
Commit your selection process to prayer. Truly seeking the Lord can prevent you from making careless errors or rushed decisions.
We got the importance of character, chemistry, competence from reading Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels. Next on my reading list is Worlds Apart: Understanding the Mindset of 18-25 Year Olds. I am always working to improve my knowledge and skills as an interviewer for summer staff and as a leader.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list … what other important things do you find out before hiring a new employee? What resources have helped you improve your selection skills?
If you know of great folks who love kids and want to work hard at camp, we would love to talk with them about serving at CentriKid Camps this summer. You can direct them to our online application or have them email us with any questions.