There are many different variables you need to take into account when assessing if a ministry candidate is a good fit for your church staff. There are the obvious things like experience in similar context, demonstrated growth in the ministries they have been a part of, the desired education level, etc. But what qualities or characteristics should you be looking for beyond that? What are some qualities that separate the excellent candidates from the good ones in a group that is highly qualified?
Here are some of those “off paper” qualities we see in church staff candidates who are truly high-potential and high-capacity - and you won't see these qualities just from looking at their resume.
1. They are inquisitive.
If a high-capacity candidate has made it past the initial stages of the interview process, they will tend to ask the right sorts of questions. After all, they are trying to assess if the role is a good fit for them as much as they are trying to land it. Smart candidates ask a lot of questions to determine how well they will fill a position, and smart leaders are curious by nature - always looking to learn as much as to teach or speak.
2. They are excited & passionate.
When I ask a candidate what interests them about a specific church or role and they something like “Seems like a great church making, doing great things...” (or something else equally generic), that tells me that either they haven’t done much research on the church, or they are just looking for any job. A successful candidate knows why they want to work at the place they are applying to, and they are excited about those reasons! You can tell when someone is excited about the potential of joining a specific ministry that fits their passions or when they are simply looking for any new job.
Job seekers, make sure you know the “why” behind wanting to work somewhere, and articulate that to the people who are interviewing you. It will go a long way!
3. They are highly responsive.
We all understand that people have obligations and boundaries and are not always accessible 24/7, but if a candidate regularly takes a long time to respond, that communicates to me they are not that interested in pursuing the role. If I email to a candidate to set up a next step interview and they take 3 or more days to get back to me with no specific reason, that is a bad sign.
Candidates, if you know you won’t be able to respond to an email or call within 24 hours, give a quick response explaining why and when you will respond, even if it’s just a few words that acknowledge you've received the email and are still interested in moving forward.
These are just a few of the less concrete attributes we tend to see in highly successful candidates.