When hiring someone, pray for discernment

When hiring someone, pray for discernment

23 May 2018
‘Give your servant a discerning heart.’

Dr John Maxwell writes: ‘Several years ago when I was speaking to a group of executives, someone asked me what principles I follow when hiring. “I have only one rule,” I explained. “I never do the hiring.” That got their attention. “And here’s why: I’m terrible at it.” I went on to explain my horrible track record…“Because I’m so optimistic and have a high belief in people, I’m unrealistic. It doesn’t matter what red flags come up during an interview with a candidate, I always think, I can help this person to improve and succeed. That’s not the right attitude for an interviewer. To be successful in this area you need people who are sceptical – the kind of individuals who wouldn’t even hire their own mothers. When I quit hiring, it took my organisation to a whole new level.” When I told this room full of executives that I didn’t do any hiring anymore, I could see their first reaction was negative. But as I explained it, I could see they appreciated that I knew my own weaknesses, and they respected my honesty. Few things are worse than someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, making things up as he goes along, and pretending he has expertise when he really doesn’t have a clue.’ If you have a poor track record in hiring people, delegate the job to those who are gifted at it. And if you must do it yourself, pray Solomon’s prayer: ‘Give your servant a discerning heart…to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?’