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4 Steps To Successful Church Background Checks

Posted by Gail Mayes on 2/25/13 9:31 AM

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One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your hiring process is skipping the background and reference checks on your potential hire. A reference check is your opportunity to protect your church and learn how to best lead your potential hire from people who have done so in the past.

Here are a few tips on conducting your church background checks:

Dig deep: At Vanderbloemen, we have a list of questions we ask each reference that attempt to paint a broad picture of the candidate from work ethic to leadership abilities. It is also important to ask difficult questions that may you may feel uncomfortable asking. For example, “Have you ever suspected the presence of an inappropriate relationship?” is a difficult question to ask but is an important one to protect both yourself and your ministry.

Ask follow-up questions: Conducting reference checks is a great opportunity to ask any remaining questions or to confirm the candidate’s recall of events following your initial interview with the candidate. You may have further questions that the candidate was either unable to answer or provides answers that didn’t satisfy you. Keep track of these questions and ask them to references.

Use a reliable company for your church background checksThe background check is equally important as the reference check, so be sure you use a reliable company. Also, be sure you receive a signed release from the candidate giving you permission to conduct their background check. AtVanderbloemen, we conduct the entire reference, background, and credit check process for our clients to ensure they receive a 360 degree view of their potential hire.

Know what you will do with the information once you have completed the checks: Information from your church background checks report should be made to all decision makers and be a part of the final hiring decision. If the report comes back clear and positive, congratulations! You have a new hire. However, if there are questions that arise through the reference and background check, we suggest continuing conversations with the candidate in an effort to get clarity on your findings. Don’t use a blanket determination to reject all candidates with a negative mark on their background check. We all have a story, and some of us may have an especially messy history before Christ entered our story.

A misconception about conducting church background checks is that they are intended to “dig up dirt” on a potential hire. This is not the case. The process of conducting church background checks are intended for you to get to know your potential new team member better and gain clarity on whether they would be a good fit for your team or not. If there is anything we can do to help you through the search process, don’t hesitate to email us.

Topics: Search Committees

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