Looking to hire a janitor or a secretary? Maybe a senior minister? While some hires might involve a few more steps than others, it's all pretty basic, right? You've got the résumé, two or three references, and you know what the job requires. You work with people all of the time, so you have a good, intuitive sense of who will fit in and who won't. It ought to be a no-brainer.
Not quite. Many things can go wrong. There are specific steps you should take, and pitfalls you should avoid. We asked two experts in this area to give us some advice. Bob Podgorski is manager of extension services at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. He is also coordinator of the St. Hubert Job and Networking Ministry, and he runs his own consulting practice in human resources, RPP Enterprises, both based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Christian Poland, a partner at Bryan Cave LLP in Chicago, is a lawyer who specializes in employment and non-profit organizations.
Before You Start Looking
The first step is to develop a well-organized employment handbook. A handbook will save a lot of time and avoid many hiring problems. The handbook should contain a statement of the church's faith, policies, and standards of conduct. "For instance, a conservative church would not want a minister who will promote gay marriage and abortion, while a liberal church will not want a minister who condemns gay marriage and abortion," Poland says.