The 4th “C” in Hiring

In prior blog post, I refer to the 3 “C”s in hiring – Character, Competence, and Chemistry.  In short, I’ve referenced the importance of giving priority to the new prospective team members having a Character and Chemistry that matches the desired culture of the team.  Many have a tendency to give priority and focus on Competency in hiring.  My experience is Competency can’t be overlooked; however, it is far less important than Character and Chemistry.  I’d always much rather have a player with average Competence who exhibits the right Character and has great Chemistry with the team.   Also, in prior post, I’ve referenced the challenges in identifying Character and Chemistry over the course of only a couple interviews.  My intent isn’t to go back over these in detail today; however, for your benefit, Promote Someone Internal? is a post that goes into more depth.

Today, I’d like to bring to the table a 4th “C” – Calling.  This 4th “C” is likely more relevant for Christ-follower; however, the principle still applies.  Over the past 7 years, I’ve found myself going into in depth study of one’s “calling” viewed through a biblical worldview lens.  Chances are, you likely have heard the word “calling” used in a biblical context somewhere before and discovered that it carries a variety of meaning and interpretations.  For today’s purposes, I’m only going to scratch the surface on the differing viewpoints of calling and raise it for consideration in the process of hiring.

To provide a little context, I’d offer the follow from a book I presently have in draft:

So, God’s original plan was clearly for man to have a “job” from day one and work isn’t a curse as a result of the man’s disobedience. In fact, if we look at the Hebrew word “avodah” one sees that it is uses simultaneously in the original text for both “work” and “worship”. Thus, our work is a form of worship to God. If you truly believed this at a heart level how would that change the way you get out of bed on a Monday morning to prepare to go off to work?

Taking this a step further, in today’s culture we use the word “vocation” simultaneously with “work”….

Now get this, the root word we get vocation is the word, “vocāre” which means “calling”. So, our “vocation” is our “calling”….

Given this context, most Christ-followers agree we all have a “general” calling when it comes to our vocation to live out our faith through our work.  That general calling is in alignment with Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV):

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Where things start to diverge is around the thinking that people are “called” to a “specific” vocation or position.  When it comes to wisdom and discernment in this area, I offer the following from my book:

You want to create “insanity”, turn an Engineer who’s an in depth analytical thinker loose with this topic over a period of nearly 5 years and don’t give him much else to work on. Yes, you’ll likely hear me say it later, again; however, I’ve discovered that “there is a fine line between following Jesus and insanity”. But, before I unveil all my years of research, let’s revisit why I’d even want to spend so much time studying and reflecting upon this topic (specific calling).

With a bit of attempted humor, I’m going to say that the jury is still out when it comes to my particular beliefs around how specific, “specific” calling can be.  What I will go as far to say is that I do believe people can be and are regularly called to a “specific” vocation and, even, position.  I’ll even go as far to say that assuming your entire hiring team and the candidate are earnestly seeking the Lord for guidance and direction, there should be no doubt on who’s being called to your particular opportunity.  I’ll add that I never like to place God in a box; however, this wisdom and discernment normal comes through a process of going to the Word, listening prayer, and seeking Godly counsel.  Assuming unity in this process and the individuals involved, you should have a pretty good sense of whether or not a person is being called to a specific opportunity.

Given this, the challenge I’m raising is whether or not you even give consideration to the 4th “C” in hiring.  Have you even stopped to think that God may have a specific individual who would be best fit for your particular opportunity?  If so, are you truly seeking the Lord for guidance or simply asking Him to bless whoever you pick?   Not that asking His blessing is bad; however, there is a difference.

Finally, given the 4th “C”, the other 3 “C”s aren’t totally irrelevant; however, they do become much less relevant.  You’ve likely heard it said,  “God doesn’t call the equipped…He equips the called.” (1Th 5:24, Heb 12:20-21, 1 Cor 1:26-31)  In particular, don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t quite fit the perceived “competency” requirements; yet, there is a sense of “calling”.  You may find that you have a candidate that fits Character, Competency, and Chemistry having a vast amount of related experience; however, doesn’t fit the “called” criteria.  My encouragement would be, if they aren’t “called” spend the time it takes to find the one who is.  As always, if I can be of assistance in this process, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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