How To Cut Through Resume Overload & Find The Right Hire For Your Church

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Knowing when and who to hire can be hard for any organization at any time, but COVID-19 has made it increasingly more difficult. As churches continue to need more support roles like Communications Directors, IT staff, and Children’s Pastors or Worship Pastors to reach their congregation at this time, they are also met with more uncertainty regarding the future of their church. Many churches are struggling to make their normal payments, let alone hire for the new roles they need at this time. Other churches have seen an increase in giving, but there is no certainty if this will continue or what it would look like if it stops. 

As you continue to decide what is best for your church during this uncertain time, I sat down with Carl Barnhill, Owner/Creative Director of Twelve: Thirty Media, to discuss how to find the best candidates for your organization and important considerations for hiring right now.

How Do We Find The Right Talent?

It’s not hard to get candidates for new positions right now. With unemployment still high, organizations that are hiring are being flooded with applicants. It is hard, however, to find the right candidate for a position. As your church begins to fill new positions, there are questions you need to consider that go beyond a resume.

“What roles in the church need to be filled by an outside candidate and where can we rearrange the org chart to fill roles with your current staff?” 

For many churches, COVID-19 has changed staff job descriptions to simply become “other duties as necessary.” You have probably seen your staff step up to new challenges in amazing ways, but having them continue serving in a role they don’t feel connected to is not sustainable when they’re also still doing the job they were hired for. 

Find out what your staff members love doing and see what gaps you have in your current org chart that their interests might serve well in. As you examine your current  staff structure, you may find some of your old job roles are no longer necessary. Get  creative as you consider how you can shift responsibilities to meet the needs of your organizations while fulfilling the passions of your staff. Ultimately, before you begin looking to fill a new position, look at the positions you have and consider what changes need to be made.

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“What is our church’s theology?” 

At Vanderbloemen, we know theology matters. Before you can find someone who fits your church’s theology, you have to know your church’s theology. Sit down with your board and discuss your church’s theology. As much as your church will not be happy with a candidate who does not hold to your church’s theology, the candidate will also not be happy if your church’s theology does not align with what they were told to expect. Since your theology drives your culture and mission, it’s critical for leadership and potential candidates to be aligned.

“What is the candidate’s theology?” 

Similarly, make sure you know the theology of your candidate. You don’t want to hire someone and later find out that their theology doesn’t align with your church. During the hiring process, ask them important questions about their beliefs and make sure their answers match with your church.

Knowing their spiritual influences and practices will help you better understand how they will fit into and influence your culture.

What Should We Look For On A Resume?

Resumes are just the starting point with applicants. It is important to know your candidate and their story beyond the resume. That being said, there are some things to look for on a resume. For example, cultural geography and job tenure. If a candidate has only ever lived in the north and your church is in the south, it is important to make sure that the candidate will be able to make that cultural transition and enjoy it. Job tenure is also important. While there could be numerous reasons for someone’s short time at previous jobs, make sure you are asking questions that will show they are a committed employee. It is much more expensive to have to hire a new employee than to develop an existing employee.

What Should We Do If We Need To Hire, But Are Worried About Cash Flow?

Hiring during these uncertain times is scary to say the least. If you need to hire but are worried that the necessary cash flow won’t be there, consider these 3 things:

1. Ask your church members for help. - Seek out donors by explaining to your church the roles you need to hire and why. If these roles benefit your mission and/or congregation directly (which should be a prerequisite to any hire you make), you might be surprised at the support you’ll get. Sometimes your congregation just needs to know where their money is going to feel comfortable giving extra.

2. Look at your org chart and find roles that can be cut. - Even if this is a temporary cut, reducing staff can help you get through this season, especially if there are ministries that have paused in this season.

3. Ask yourself, “what roles will be important in the future?” - As you consider implementing layoffs or furloughs, think not only about what operations need to continue but also what positions and tasks will be critical to your future success. You want to make sure that the staff you have possess the skills it takes to serve in this new season of ministry.

If you are looking to hire, Vanderbloemen and ChristianTeams are here to help you find the candidates that will be the right fit for your organization and culture. If you have questions or are interested in partnering with us to find the right person to bring on board at your organization, we’d love to talk with you.

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