How To Approach Hiring Freezes During COVID-19

I interviewed William Vanderbloemen, CEO & Founder, on ways to approach hiring freezes and staffing during COVID-19. William shared three practical strategies to help employers navigate the challenges of hiring during this global crisis.  

3 Principles of Staffing

1. Take Your Time In The Hiring Process.

    • If there is a hire you need to make, be sure to take your time getting to know candidates, even if it's virtual. Making quick hires can be detrimental to your organization if there's a lack of thorough vetting and consideration of the candidate you hire. Be sure to think through the qualities and skills necessary to succeed at the open role and mesh with your culture. 

    • Consider the current high unemployment rate and the fact that an unprecedented number of people are seeking jobs.

      • This spike in job seekers makes it challenging to hire the person who is truly called to your organization versus one who needs a job but isn’t invested in your vision.

      • Think about the time and money you'll spend replacing a hire that doesn't work out.

2. Decide Quickly When Laying Off Staff

    • During COVID-19, the government is offering additional unemployment benefits options, so letting people go earlier allows them to begin the process of receiving benefits while saving your organization money.

    • Remember that your company benefits from staff members who are producing high-quality work that advances the vision and mission of your organization. Thoughtfully consider what positions are necessary in this time to make wise decisions.

      • Approach layoffs graciously but objectively. Letting people go is never easy, but it's important to remember that it might be a necessity for your organization to thrive long-term. 

3. Consider The Position You’re Hiring For

    • During COVID-19, the church should be a source of hope, support, and relief in the midst of the challenges people are facing. If your church is without a spiritual leader, it may be wise to hire a Senior Pastor.

      • Explore using video-conferencing systems for interviewing. This will help you experience the body language and personality of your candidates. You wouldn't be the first to try this

      • With the uncertainty of this global crisis, there are many people who are hungry for fellowship and spiritual guidance in Christ, so it is wise to fill high-level positions.

      • Be mindful that the Pastor you’re looking for right now might be completely different than who you would’ve considered before COVID-19. Prayerfully consider the future of your church and the traits needed in a leader to accelerate your mission before moving into the hiring process.

    • On the other hand, it may be wise to implement a hiring freeze for a Facilities Director or other roles that only require in-person action.

    • Other roles depend on the direction of your church. If your church has small groups meeting via Zoom or other online conferencing tools, you might consider hiring a Small Group Pastor to help your church navigate through this new season. 

To discern if your church should implement hiring freezes, remember every church is different, and there are no categorical answers to these questions. Take time with your team to pray for wisdom to understand the best route for your church. In this time of change, you'll want to ensure you've hired people that will align with your values and culture now and when we start meeting in person again. Be sure whatever decision you make is done with thoughtful planning and consideration.