Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hold the Interview

In this month’s Fast Company magazine Dan Heath & Chip Heath wrote a great article that turns conventional hiring practices on its head. In it they propose that it may be wiser to hire people without ever meeting them. They site that, “Interviews are less predictive of job performance than work samples, job-knowledge tests, and peer ratings of past job performance. Even a simple intelligence test is dramatically more useful.” The conclusion is that with potential employees we need to give interviews the same or less weight than we do other methods of evaluation.

For the church this is a great reminder for those of us who regularly hire church staff. I would suggest that these realities may even come in handy as we consider the appointment of lay leadership. The main point being that we must never minimize the importance of getting work samples and doing multiple layers of job performance evaluation beyond the standard “references” of the candidate. For lay leadership, it just means we do our homework outside of the interview, so we are considering other factors and methods of evaluation before making leadership appointments or recommendations.