Why Not To Hire A Search Firm


A search firm is not the right solution for every search or even every church. Bringing in outside help to fill critical church staffing roles is a serious, intentional choice. We have a unique process tailored to each church’s needs, but at times a church may not be ready or in a position to jump into that process with us.

Here are three reasons you may not want to hire a pastor search firm just yet.

1. You have unlimited time.

When is your church hoping to have this staff member search completed? For most church leaders, the answer is usually sooner rather than later. However, if you have unlimited time to find your next church staff member, it may not yet be time to bring in outside help.

Also, if a church already has a few solid potential candidates in the pipeline, it may be best to initially pursue these before bringing in a search firm. One caveat to this is if you have candidates in your pipeline but you want to compare them against other candidates you wouldn't find on your own. A retained search firm like ours will vet all candidates objectively, internal or external, and give you an honest evaluation of their potential against the rest of the recruited candidates.

A search firm will often save you a lot of time, but if you already have access to some great candidates, it may be a better option to work on your own. Want to find out how much time using a retained search firm will save you? Use our bad hire calculator to find out.


2. Your network has viable candidates.

Many churches are part of a denomination's networks or have ties to a ministry school or bible college. Sometimes, strong networks such as these will help a church to look for candidates within those networks.

However, many churches don’t have a lot of networks such as these, or their networks don't offer much in the way of a strong candidate pool. Even if a church has access to some networks, it’s hard to know where to turn after they’ve been exhausted. This is where a search firm can step in to offer a much broader and deeper network and candidate pool as your church finds who God has uniquely called and gifted for this role. 

3. There is dysfunction amongst your leadership.

Our consultants have worked over 190 combined years in ministry, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the table during the pastor search process.

our Consultants are not just recruiters; they are trusted advisors to the church. Tweet: Consultants are not just recruiters; they are trusted advisors to the church.
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They are wonderful at helping a church clarify their vision for the role they are searching for, developing a job description in line with the church's needs and vision, and guiding search committees through disagreements during the search process.

However, if a church is divided on things such as vision and mission, or if there’s dysfunction among the senior leadership, our process is not the answer to fixing your church. A church doesn’t need to have every duck in a row to complete a successful church staff member search, but there at least needs to be a clear mission and a leadership team working towards that vision.

If that's not quite in place yet, some search firms, such as ours, do offer staff and organizational consulting to make sure the right people are in the right places on the church staff.

Our team loves that we get to help church leaders find who God is calling to their church, and it's a responsibility we take seriously. If there's anything we can do to help you and your church with your search process, let us know.

If you liked this, then you’ll also enjoy When Is It Time To Hire A Search Firm? 

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