A Hiring Predicament

Denise is the executive director of a charitable organization and wonders if she should hire an employee. Dave says hiring is an investment, and some are better than others.

QUESTION: Denise in Illinois is the executive director of a charitable organization and wonders if she should hire an employee. Denise is concerned it’s going to be a gamble. Dave says hiring is an investment, and some are better than others.

ANSWER: Anytime you hire anyone, it’s a gamble.

Nonprofits have all taken a huge hit. But a good development person will pay for themselves in almost any setting unless the entire community is dried up for some reason. I don’t know what you guys are facing locally, but it could be. Usually, it’s more about attitude. The job of development people is to develop relationships and to physically, mentally and spiritually involve people in the call of the nonprofit. Obviously, you know all of that. The problem is, in a sense, a development person is like a salesperson. A good one is worth their weight in gold, and a bad one’s not worth shoveling out the door.

I laughed with you and called it a gamble, but I would equate hiring as an investment, and some investments return better than others. I think that is biblical. Given your situation, I think you’re going to have to literally pray in the exact right person. You do not need a warm body in a chair. You need a God-sent person who is the exact fit for the community for times such as these. Otherwise, don’t hire them. Be okay with not hiring anyone unless that right person comes in. So it’s almost as if advertising this position is putting out a fleece. You’re just saying, “Okay, God. You send me the right person, and there’s no question and they’re a slam dunk, then I’ll know it’s You. Otherwise, we’re not putting somebody in here to do this.” That’s the way I’d look at it.