The 5 Benefits Of Collaborative Hiring
By: Brian Dunks
Hiring a church staff member is done differently in almost every church. If you’ve seen one church, you’ve seen one church! The hiring process in a church has much to do with history, structure, and even setting. Church hiring models include top-down decision-making to a congregational vote to everything in between. As a Search Consultant at Vanderbloemen Search Group, I get the opportunity to see all of these models firsthand.
When I was a pastor, I was a big advocate of what is called “collaborative hiring” or “team-based hiring,” which involves multiple people in the deliberations. Whether the collaboration or team is the executive staff, elders, search committee, or lay leaders, there are many benefits to hiring through team effort, and it’s starting to become very common in church staffing.
Any church staff hire will be an important role in the life of church, and there is no solid reason to exclude it from team decision-making. By adding this collaborative element, you get a higher level of involvement, more buy in, and a more distinct evaluation of the candidates.
Here are five benefits of collaborative hiring:
1. Diverse viewpoints can reduce bad hires.
Team hiring will give your staff search both diverse assessments and perspectives. This will drastically decrease the risk of a bad hire and ensure that the person is a good cultural fit for the team. Being involved in the process will also remind your current church staff of the incredible value added by a quality new hire.
2. Demonstrating collaboration is attractive to candidates.
Not only are you evaluating candidates, they are evaluating the church. One of the key criteria used by a lot of church staff candidates on whether they accept a position is whether they’ll be working with great co-workers. When your team in involved in the search process and the interviews, their interaction with the candidate may be strongest selling point.
3. Your staff will be the most effective “salespeople” for the church.
Your staff knows the church, the expectations, and the compelling dynamics of the position. The candidate will look to them as a source of credibility, and they will be able to alleviate many concerns the candidate may have about the opportunity. Your staff members are the greatest proponents of the church's mission and vision, and so they should be involved in the process.
4. The new staff member will on-board and ramp up faster.
When current church staff members have input in a new staff member, they will also have ownership of the new hire. This sense of responsibility will transpose into assisting, mentoring, coaching, and training the new person in the role. Because others have been intricately involved, the new staffer will walk into the role with some of the “getting to know people" phase behind them. The new staff member will accelerate into the role and greatly appreciate the sense of welcome and buy in from the team.
5. Team involvement will reinforce a culture of collaboration and will further retention.
Collaborative church staffing done well and done repeatedly will remind the staff why they continue to serve your organization. It will reinforce a sense of community and build a culture of collaboration, feedback, and transparency. Your church staff members will know that they have a voice, they are trusted, and they feel needed. This is a key to keeping good staff members.
Consider collaborative hiring and the benefits of involving your team in the hiring process. There will be better results, more productivity, team chemistry, and the opportunity to build a long tenured, healthy staff culture.
How can your church better approach hiring in the future?