Attract great staff and hire them confidently with the assistance of these resources.
From Starting to Parting
Our resource From Starting to Parting (PDF) helps congregations hire, support, and transition their staff. Written specifically with religious education and music staff in mind, most of the information is more broadly applicable.
Conducting background checks on congregational staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable populations is critical. The increased use of background checks and reference checks by agencies that work with children often means sexual predators are attracted to institutions that don’t conduct them. Congregations across the nation are perceived as trusting and welcoming and thus are vulnerable to those seeking easy access to children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
Reference checks for staff (and leaders and volunteers who are too new to have built trust) are essential to make sure that folks have the experience that they claim to have. Taking the time to check out people's stories can avoid preventable situations.
Staffing for Diversity
We often want to surround ourselves with people who are similar to us. This can lead to stale programming and keep out new ideas or ways of serving your community. Learn tips and implement processes that help to reduce unconscious bias and expand your hiring pool.
Position Description Template
A position description is helpful not just for a job search, but to guide the new employee in the expectations for the job, including:
- Position Purpose (The reason the position exists and what it is meant to accomplish. Include the scope of responsibility and level of impact.)
- Core Competencies (The expected behaviors, attitudes, and personal skills, each of which would apply to many or all job responsibilities.)
- Essential Functions (Any function that is highly specialized and the person in this position has the specific skills and expertise to perform the function.)
Welcoming and Onboarding
Our Welcoming and Onboarding Checklist (Excel) can help you ensure that new staff are properly welcomed and that essential paperwork is properly handled.
In the future, we plan to provide a model employment agreement for non-clergy staff. In the meantime, there is a brief section on Employment Agreements in From Starting to Parting (PDF) (pp 27-28).
Provide a Personnel Policy Manual
In any work setting, employees should know what the congregation expects, how commonly occurring situations are handled, e.g. time-off and other benefits. A policy manual or handbook should address these issues. Without such a manual, decisions are ad hoc and the congregation will be open to claims of favoritism or unfair treatment, and even possible legal liability. Compliance with a policy manual will help to ensure that all employees are treated equitably.