Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dear Ministry, Um, Hiring Boards

Dear Ministry, Um, Hiring Boards,

Please get yourselves together. Preferable BEFORE you start the hiring process. 
My husband has been sending out his resume to churches for a while now & while he hasn't hear back from too many (hey, at least that is a definite answer of we aren't interested), the ones he has heard back from have been less than good at communication. 

I have been thinking about this for a while & turning it over & over in my head & I guess just woke up this morning & decided to get it down on paper or blog, if you will. 

Here are a few things that if these boards would actually think about starting their process or would do in the process would make everyone's part much easier & quite possibly keep people in ministry. 
Yes, I did say in ministry. When you can't get the time of day from a ministry, you then start looking at other lines of work & stop thinking about ministry & what it would be like to be in ministry because, heck, if they aren't interested in you why would you be interested in being in ministry?

Anyway, here are a handful of things I think ministries could do better in the hiring process from our experience in trying to get hired. 

  • Come up with what you want to see in your candidates/what your ministry needs in a candidate BEFORE you put the word out that you are looking for an employee (for lack of a better word). 
    • Ex. My husband had an interview with a ministry & after not hearing back with in a week, called & asked where they were in their process & they actually asked him what they should be looking for in a candidate. Um, really there are only three of you & you really should know what kind of things you are looking for BEFORE you start interviewing at the latest. 
  • Once you have interviewed the candidate, please keep in contact with them. Yes, I realize this is a two way street, but really to never hear back from a ministry kind of leaves an unresolved conclusion. Yes, after a certain amount, you know they probably found a candidate but that is not always the truth & an answer one way or the other is always nicest. Even when the answer is no. (Remember how you don't like to feel as though God is ignoring you? Why is that okay when hiring for a position to do that?)
  • Be timely. Honestly, six months between communications is a little much. Once you start the hiring process, be prompt & get it done & over with. Why drag it out? I think this is the one I don't get. I understand that these guys on the hiring boards are volunteer & have their own lives, but really, a year to START interviewing? If I was one of those people, I probably would have said 'see ya' at the six month mark of that junk. 
  • This one goes along with the communication as well, but is a little different. When a candidate contacts you, get back to them. 
    • Ex. My husband contacted a ministry that he had an initial interview with & said we want to set up an interview with the elders, we will be in contact..... he emailed a few times & called once with no response. This weekend, I finally decided that I would contact a friend who knew the pastor & see if she could found out anything. The pastor got right back to her & she got right back to me. Really? You can contact my friend but not my husband when he contacted you first? (Disclaimer: the pastor asked my friend about us first before he contacted my husband.)
When I see what we have been through, I can honestly see why people don't want to go into ministry. It is way easier to get a job in the secular world. Yes, we need Christians in every faucet of life, but we need some of good ones in the church so that the church can keep up with the changing world & if they aren't hired, they will find someplace else to work. Plus, if we are going to have the next generation of church leaders actually be able to lead, they need to learn before the current generation dies. 

Just my two cents worth from what we have experienced so far & yes, my husband is currently looking for a secular job.