Monday, February 18, 2013 11:09 AM

Hiring Without Regrets 3

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:09 AM
Monday, February 18, 2013 11:09 AM

Recognize The Hidden Investment of Staff    (part 3 of 4)

Over the years I have had experiences related to staffing that have taught me some sobering truths. [This is part 3 of Hiring Without Regrets.] I’ve led the charge at times to hire a new person that I believed, hoped, and prayed would make a significant impact. I garnered the support, gathered the financial resources, and made the hope -filled hire just to be shocked a few months later by the realization that that hire had almost no positive effect. In some cases the result was worse performance and impact in that ministry area. Can I get an “Amen, I’ve been there” from anyone? Over- estimating the effect of just a single hire is probably not a good idea most of the time. There is another “school of hard knocks” lesson related to the investment and impact of hiring staff. There are times that I have had a staff member leave or be released and during that time the vacant position was left unfilled. During that time there was no perceptible differences in the productivity emerging from that ministry area.

The objective of hiring a new staff member is ultimately to increase ministry effectiveness. For that reason, cost becomes a major factor when considering the addition of a new staff member. The cost of hiring a new staff member includes more than just increasing the size of your payroll. There are also many hidden investments in the process.

It takes time to train and develop a new staff member and those time investments cost the church money, both for the staff member’s time and the trainer’s time. You also need to consider the less obvious investments of adding staff members, such as relocation expenses, benefit packages, commissions, bonuses, employment taxes, and other perks (memberships, car allowance, travel, expense accounts, etc.). The major question to ask yourself is: when can you afford a new staff member?

The experience level of staff you need should determine the investment you make. An entry-level position will require less in compensation and benefits than a position that requires a highly skilled or specialized staff person who may already have years of experience.

Although an entry-level position will require less compensation and benefits than a highly skilled or specialized position, think twice before hiring a staff person who is less experienced than what you need. Many churches make the mistake of hiring less experienced staff to save money, but that’s seldom the end result. A staff person who lacks the experience to do the position properly ends up being less productive, and often makes others less productive as well because they have to continually retrain the inexperienced staff or redo their work. Hiring qualified staff members may cost a little more up front, but in the long run it will save you both time and money.

The Ministry Advantage Cost Analysis Worksheet is available in Module 4 of 7 Practices of Effective Churches to help you calculate the investments of adding a new staff member. Modules and supporting video coaching are part of the 24/7 Online Coaching Center content. One subscription provides leadership coaching to all staff and volunteer leaders in your church. To subscribe to the 24/7 Online Coaching Center visit us at

Conducting a Ministry Position Analysis

The purpose of a Ministry Position Analysis is to determine exactly what you need in a particular position before you hire a new staff member. This gives you the information you need to make the best hiring decisions. You’ll use the information obtained from your analysis to write a Ministry Position Description, which defines what skills and qualifications, the position requires and what’s expected in terms of responsibilities and performance. The better you can define what you need, the better chance you have of attracting qualified applicants and finding the right person to fill the position.

A Ministry Position Analysis is simply looking at the duties and responsibilities a particular position requires, and determining what knowledge, skills, spiritual gifts, and abilities are needed to perform the position adequately. Your analysis will also include a look at working conditions, any equipment used, and how much time is devoted to different tasks or duties.

You may need to analyze an existing position if you’re hiring someone for a position that has been filled in the past, or you many need to analyze a position that doesn’t currently exist in your church. In either case, it’s important to analyze the position in terms of what the position should entail, not how it’s currently being performed.

Next Week: Using A Ministry Position Analysis

Submitted by Russ Olmon, President of Ministry Advantage


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Monday, February 18, 2013 11:13 AM

Hiring Without Regrets 4

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:13 AM
Monday, February 18, 2013 11:13 AM

There are many words that come to my mind when I think about what I’ve learned about hiring the right people nearly every time but “hope” is not one of them.

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