What To Consider When Using Job Boards

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When companies like Monster and Career Builder came onto the scene twenty years ago, hiring managers everywhere rejoiced at the idea of instant access to more candidates, and candidates everywhere rejoiced at the idea of instant access to more jobs. Most of the world thought this innovation would change hiring forever. Fast forward a few decades, and popularity of these job boards is still strong, but hiring hasn’t gotten any easier. Having a larger pool of candidates doesn’t change the fact that you still need to process them thoroughly to make the right hire for your team. 

Job boards aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s important to understand the pros and cons of using them. Here are 4 things to consider:

1. You need an effective system for screening.

While you may have hundreds of resumes submitted for one job posting, many of those candidates may not be the right fit for your search. Assuming most of the applicants are strangers to you, make sure that there is a good system in place for screening each candidate and his or her resume.

Remember to ask yourself, what are the key elements to look for in resumes pertaining to this job? How will you verify the information on the resume? You may have to put a significant amount of time into working through each of these. Keep in mind that it’s never been easier to look good on paper as it is right now.

The flip side is that many great pastors aren’t always the best writers of resumes, so don't skip over a great candidate just because they have a "bad" resume. A resume is only one piece of a candidate's story.

2. Don’t miss passive candidates.

If you’re putting all your eggs in the job board basket, you’re already missing out on some great candidates. More often than not, people that apply to job postings are out of work or looking for new work. Neither of these situations are bad or a reason to disqualify a candidate, but we’ve noticed that some of the best candidates are ones that aren’t necessarily actively or publically looking.

To be clear, we do not believe it’s appropriate to poach candidates from other churches. However, we do come across many candidates that are sensing a need for a change but aren't ready to publically post their resume on a job board or apply to a role where they aren't sure what level of confidentiality is being upheld by the search team. This type of candidate is usually a wonderful find. The trick here is that you will only find these people through networking and referencing; you can’t wait on them to come to you.

3. Factor the time needed.

Though your job posting may be successful and bring you tons of resumes, don’t forget that more resumes equals more time needed to sift through them. If you’re going to utilize a job board, be prepared to put in the necessary time to properly sort through all those resumes, whether they're qualified or not.

Consider this: if you’re not as experienced in looking at ministry resumes, you will probably need to do some research on each one you see. What type of churches are listed on their resume? How do they line up theologically? How large or small are the churches? What part of the country are they in? What are the denominational or affiliations on this resume?  What’s their timeline and transition schedule? All of these are questions to be asked while screening each resume.

Screening candidates is not something you can speed through, so be sure you’ve budgeted your time for this project and considered the cost.

how much could a hiring mistake cost your church

4. Your job description is imperative.

We believe a great job description is a crucial piece of the puzzle when trying to find the right candidate. We don’t believe it’s the most important component, but when you’re counting on a job board to find you the right candidate, the importance raises significantly. A job description will be a candidate’s first and main impression of your church and this role. Remember, you’re a stranger to most of them at this point as well. So, if you’re relying on a job board, be sure your job description is as accurate and attractive as possible.

I should reiterate that we are fans of job boards and utilize them in our own process, but it's only one piece of a very complex puzzle. It’s vital to understand the limits of this tool. Staffing is an important endeavor, but staffing for the church is a holy endeavor that deserves intentionality and due diligence.

8 Steps To A Successful Church Job Search

How has your organization utilized job boards for your staff searches?