I’m amazed at the number of churches, ministries, and nonprofits who hire people in high-level positions without checking references or doing any background research. Sure we want to believe everything people say about their experience, past work, education, and accomplishments, but after decades of hiring people and watching my clients hire people, I’ve learned that no matter how quickly you need to fill the position, there’s always time to check.
For instance, in many cases, I’ve had media people here in Hollywood tell me they’ve worked for “Fox” – with the inference that it means Fox Film Studios, or Fox Television. But with a closer look, I discovered they’d been an assistant at a local Fox TV station in a small town in the Midwest.
In another situation I had a client excitedly hire a producer from a famous church’s TV ministry, thinking that if they worked for that famous church, she had to be amazing. But I decided to make a few calls, and discovered she had actually been fired from the church, and they were adamant they would never hire her again.
I could go on and on – but you get it. I don’t believe most people lie, however they want to position themselves in the best possible light. So when you look for new employees, follow the old diplomatic strategy – trust but verify.
It can save you a lot of grief in the end.