10 Hiring Tips For Ministry Leaders

napkin - same old thinking - same old results

Ministry is full of long hours and even longer weeks. But just because you’re working for a cause doesn’t mean you have to be a martyr. Lighten your load a little and find more time for your family, your professional growth, or just an afternoon of rest by building a team with these ten tips.

1. Don’t look for a mini-me. Your church employees need to be able to do some of your regular tasks, but anyone you hire will be his own person bringing his own personality to the work. Look for people to complement you, not copy you.

2. Be clear about expectations. Think about what you really need and build the job description on concrete goals. Do you want someone who can keep you organized behind the scenes or someone who can take entire projects off your plate? Either one is valid, but they require very different skill sets and personalities. Take the time to think it through.

3. Be clear about yourself. We all want to think we’re a combination of Peter Drucker, Steve Jobs, and Mother Theresa—but one of the secrets to hiring well is being real about our own strengths, weaknesses, and skills as managers. If you need a lot of information and check-ins from your direct reports, don’t kid yourself or make them miserable by saying you’re hands-off. Know your style and hire accordingly.

4. Don’t expect instant results. There are great people out there, and hopefully you’ll meet them right away. But there’s every chance the process will take a bit longer, and you’re setting yourself up for failure if you insist on making the hire in a few weeks (or maybe even months). Plan to stick with the interviewing and assessment process until you find the person, not just a person.

5. Check your insurance. Each type of hire means different legal requirements and coverage—check with your insurance carrier to make sure you’re covered.

6. Figure out time off. I know, you’re still trying to hire someone in the first place--who wants to talk about time off? That potential hire, for one. Be sure you have a well-thought-out strategy for sick time, vacation and personal days.

7. Plan to review. If you have outstanding church team members, annual or quarterly reviews can be a joy. If not, they can be a necessity. Determine your policy for frequency of reviews, the process you’ll use, and how the results will impact compensation. And no matter how carefully you’ve hired your team, you may eventually face a disciplinary issue or customer complaint. These headaches become less painful if you’re starting with an intentional plan.

8. Check them out. Background checks are a must if your team is working in people’s homes or with children. But even if they’re not, consider making these checks a routine part of the hiring process. It’s easy to find reputable companies to manage the back end, and it’s money well-spent if it saves your ministry problems down the road.

9. Just the FAQs. Create a fact sheet to reinforce the key points of the job and answer questions for candidates. Be sure to include the hiring process and timeline as well as the job description.

10. Begin basic training. Depending on the job and your expectations, training might take one afternoon, one week, or more. Consider your goals and be sure to create a detailed manual that includes any forms, complex instructions, or detailed procedures the new church employee will need to master.

These ten tips will help your hiring and on-boarding process go smoothly and ensure you’re hiring for long-term success within your ministry team.

What tips do you have to ensure your hiring process is as enjoyable as possible?