4 Differences Between Job Boards And Search Firms

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I feel very fortunate to work alongside a collaboritve, aligned team here at Vanderbloemen. Our jobs are varied, but our mission is the same: we are here to serve the church. That’s why we all contribute to equipping church leaders through our Vanderbloemen Blog, and it's also why I want to explain a little but about the day-to-day work that we do.

We're sometimes asked about the differences between posting a church job on various ministry job boards and partnering with a full-service, full-time team at a search firm.

Job boards can be a fantastic resource. We have a page on our website where we post the jobs we're representing, and our team actively looks for places that we can post about the current searches we are working on. However, we do much more than posting a job various places.

Here are a few ways that our service goes beyond posting on a job board.

1. Job boards reach active candidates. Search firms reach both active and passive candidates.

Posting on job boards only reaches the candidates who are actively visiting the job boards and actively searching for a job. There can be qualified candidates who are in transitions and are visiting these job boards. But, consider that the vast majority of high-capacity church leaders are not currently unemployed or actively considering their next step.

Many of these people would prayerfully consider an opportunity if approached, but they are not actively seeking opportunities. Many of them also would never apply through a job board because of concerns about confidentiality. They may be feeling a stirring in their heart that God may be calling them elsewhere, but they wouldn't risk submitting their resume to a large job board where they aren't sure who is receiving their resume.

At Vanderbloemen, we have a full-time team of people who are fully-devoted to having confidential conversations with candidates about potential transitions or connections in their network. We are able to find candidates that can't be found elsewhere, and they trust us because of the confidentiality we offer. Our team members are trusted counselors for both our clients and our candidates. We know God doesn't call someone to more than one place at once, and we walk alongside candidates as they discern where God is calling them.

Related: When Is It Time To Hire A Search Firm?

2. Job boards provide resumes. Search firms provide a candidate's comprehensive story.

When you post a ministry position to a job board, you then wait for resumes to come in. Job boards typically only ask applicants to provide a resume, which significantly limits your exposure to and knowledge of a candidate. Many high-capacity church leaders don't even have an updated resume because they have not needed to search for a position in quite a long time.

In contrast, our team has extensive training on vetting ministry candidates. We know how to interpret information on resumes and "read between the lines." In our vetting process, we also request extensive information from candidates. We find out about their transitions, their passions, their family, their ministry influences, etc. Because we are not their potential employer, we're able to find out a lot more about ministry candidates.

Related: 4 Things A Ministry Resume Doesn't Tell You

3. Job boards give you access to individuals. Search firms give you access to networks.

If a candidate applies to your church job through a job board, they are likely not going to be interested in referring you to other people in their network. If a conversation is initiated through an application from a job board, that conversation is going to revolve around a yes or no for that individual.

However, our team has over 190 years in combined church leadership experience, and therefore his blessed with extensive combined networks. Also, as we are actively reaching out to people about the role, they are often able to refer us to someone they know who might be a great fit for an opportunity. And once we identify the pool of qualified candidates for any position, we have in depth conversations with those individuals, going far beyond what a resume or any email communication can provide. Our Search Consultants are experts in interviewing for churches and have a wealth of experience in staffing from when they were in church leadership.

4. Job boards leave work for you. Search firms reduce work for you.

Posting on a job board leaves the lion’s share of the work for you and/or your team as you sort through resumes and screen candidates. You have a lot to do as a church staff or search committee. Other important aspects of your job and time will be sacrificed or put on hold while you review resumes and have conversations with these active candidates.

In contrast, a retained search firm lifts the burden of the search from your shoulders. A search firm partners with you and/or your search team to guide you through an intentional process. After finding out exactly what is is you want and need from this next hire, the firm's team takes care of all of the job description writing, job posting, networking, candidate researching, vetting, and interviewing - a huge amount of time. We view ourselves as adjunct staff to your church during this time. This frees you up to continue leading your church and staff while we're guiding your search process.

Job boards are an important tool in the search process, but they are just one tool for recruiting interest, and their function is limited to introducing you to candidates which you need to filter through. Our team is soley responsible for and focused on finding highly qualified staff members that are a DNA match for your church. We spend every bit of our energy on going beyond the job board to serve you and your church.

If you have a hire you need help with, we’d love to discuss your staff’s needs. Let us know here or email us at info@vanderbloemen.com.

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