Churches: 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring An “IT Guy”
By: Vanderbloemen November 19, 2014
Over time, the church has learned to draw on technology to spread the Gospel. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a church without a website or even a worship service without a projector and soundboard.
Many churches start off with volunteers with technical backgrounds who are able to serve the needs of a budding congregation, but these needs grow exponentially as the congregation flourishes. Church growth and the ensuing technical demands lead, eventually, to the hiring of an “IT guy.”
But do you know what kind of “IT guy” you need?
If you’ve been through a search for a tech role, then you know that there are many different flavors of “IT guys,” each with their particular expertise.
Ask yourself these 3 questions to determine which kind of “IT guy” will serve your church’s needs immediately and grow with you:
1. Is this a creative role?
This may seem like an odd question. You may think, “It’s just IT; they don’t need to be creative, right?” This is the biggest mistake you can make. If you’re depending on this person to design your website, they need to be creative. If you’re going to need them to make a poster, they need to be creative. Can you see where this is going?
Start by evaluating the creative capacity needed so that you can not only have your needs met, but also ensure both the quality of work that is being produced and quality of life of your “IT guy.” Many technical guys dread creative projects. Deluging them with poster and slideshow projects will lead to an elevated level of workplace stress and burn them out quickly!
2. Is this a technical role?
This question may have an obvious answer (“Duh! Yes!”), but truly examining your technical needs can lead to substantially narrowing your field of candidates. A great first step is to huddle up with your staff to address your current technical needs as well as needs you anticipate for the near future. Here are some questions you can ask to determine your specific needs:
- Do we need someone to set up a network?
- Are we going to need servers set up?
- Will this person need to know how to stream video? To podcast?
- What technical setup will we need if/when we move into our new building?
Once you’re able to draft a list of necessary technical skills (even if it’s on a napkin!), you’ll be on your way to narrowing your candidate field significantly.
3. Will this person fit our needs in the future?
Finally, this far-reaching question needs to be asked. You may think, “It’s just an “IT guy” that fixes computers and makes sure the internet runs fast, right?” But what happens when you grow and need to make another hire or several more hires? The answer is that you may need to hire someone now that will not only fill your current IT needs, but could also partner with you in the long-run to help strategicallybuild out an IT team that will serve your needs into the future.
Once you’re able to thoughtfully answer these questions, you may wonder where you’d start looking. Many churches have millennials currently volunteering who would do well in a hybrid IT role, both able to build a website as well as set up a network. Others may have an immediate need for someone experienced in servers and systems that likely reach well beyond the realm of most young millennials. For roles like this, you may want to look for outside, experienced help to partner with you in all aspects of the search process.
In my role as the Web and Media Director here at the Vanderbloemen Search Group, I’ve interviewed many candidates and sorted through the answers to the above questions alongside our Search Consultants. Even beyond the nitty-gritty of technical needs, we often use personality assessments to further inform our process to ensure a good fit for our clients’ IT positions.
However you proceed, if you first answer the above questions, you’ve begun an informed process that will serve both your church and your future “IT guy.”
What are other questions churches should ask to assess their technical needs?