Hiring decisions are crucial for your church. Not only are church employees responsible for your congregants’ experience, but they are also making vital decisions on behalf of the church. If your church makes a mistake, it could cost money in terms of potential liability and wasted resources. Here are mistakes that churches make when hiring employees that can come back to complicate matters in the future.
Failing to Conduct an Extensive Background Check
Church employees may be in situations where they are around children. You can never be too careful when hiring people who will work with children. There is no such thing as a resume so impressive that a church can overlook a stringent examination of the applicant’s background.
When a church fails to perform a thorough background check, it places congregants at risk, and it can even threaten the continued existence of the church.
Failing to Consider the Person Behind the Resume
Many churches focus on the applicant’s resume. After all, it is natural to be impressed when someone comes to you with significant experience in the right places. Some churches learn they are not getting what they thought when hiring a specific person for the job.
Hiring someone for a church job requires many personal discussions. Your church needs to know more about the individual applicant and their life. It helps to know their belief system. Not only do you need to know about their values, but you should also have theological discussions with them.
Rushing a Hire Instead of Being Purposeful
A church may have an understandable urgency when hiring for a position. Congregants do not necessarily like uncertainty. Hiring decisions can be difficult; many churches simply want to be done with the process.
Churches should take some time to reflect and consider how the applicant fits within their community and beliefs. Hiring decisions should not be rushed. The hire could be part of the church for some time.
Failing to Consider Non-Theological Factors in the Hiring Decision
Discussions about beliefs and theology can only take a church so far in the hiring decision. Church leaders need to act and lead. They need practical skills to carry out their day-to-day responsibility. Thus, you should consider administering skills assessments to job candidates to see how their skills can be practically applied.
A church leader should have charisma and interpersonal skills to handle some of the complex matters that present themselves. However, churches may become blinded by someone who is highly charismatic. A magnetic personality can cover up many other skill deficiencies. Each church leader has a unique set of skills that they bring to the table, and charisma is only one of them.
Churches can suffer serious consequences when hiring the wrong person for the job. A church can lose congregants when they are dissatisfied with leadership. Some churches do not survive a schism that erupts when there is disagreement about terminating an employee. In addition, the church can be on the hook for a contract buyout or be sued by the terminated employee.
Virginia Beach Church Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC, Help Religious Institutions
Contact our Virginia Beach church lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC if your organization needs legal guidance. We help churches through various legal situations. Call 757-LAW-0000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, and Eastern Shore, Virginia.